Gersh In Talks To Acquire A3’s Digital & Unscripted Departments – The Dish

EXCLUSIVE: The Gersh Agency is in discussions to acquire the unscripted and digital departments of A3 Artists Agency, I hear. Sources stress that the situation is fluid and, while there has been progress n the conversations, there is no deal yet. Reps for the two agencies declined comment.

If the deal makes, it would mark the first M&A move for Gersh since the agency in May sold a 45% stake to private equity firm Crestview Partners in an investment aimed at accelerating the agency’s domestic and international growth. In would also come on the fifth anniversary of Mutual Fund Store founder Adam Bold buying Abrams Artists Agency from founder Harry Abrams. (It was subsequently rebranded as A3 Artists Agency.)

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Since then, A3 — along with the other talent agencies — has had to navigate the WGA-agency standoff, a global pandemic and a double Hollywood strike.

There has been a flurry of speculation since the Crestview investment was announced what Gersh would do with the cash infusion. The first move was a high-profile hire, with CAA’s Charlie Jennings joining as a senior agent in the talent department.

Rumors about a potential A3 acquisition by Gersh started heating up about two weeks ago. The conversation eventually focused on the digital and unscripted operations, I hear.

Gersh, which has an unscripted department and doesn’t have a true digital department, has been looking to expand into both areas as part of its growth investment plans that include other potential acquisitions and deals Gersh is looking at, I hear. Digital is believed to be A3’s most profitable department.

Talent agencies have been impacted by the production shutdown stemming from the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes, with all implementing cost-cutting measures. As the work stoppage went on, A3 had to lay off assistants in July after Bold said he had been funding the company’s payroll out of his own bank account.

With the WGA coming to an end, agency M&A activity won’t come as a surprise. On the heels of the 2007-08 writers strike, Endeavor acquired WMA, so there has been speculation that the 2023 work stoppage also may spur further agency consolidation.

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