James Grant Group Acquires Deckstar, Clients Include Blink-182, Steve Aoki, Smashing Pumpkins

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Travis Barker, Matt Skiba and Mark Hoppus of blink-182 attend The 59th Grammy Awards at Staples Center on Feb. 12, 2017 in Los Angeles. 

JGG handles Louis Tomlinson while Deckstar's roster also includes Culture Club and Liz Phair.

LA-based Deckstar, which represents Blink-182 and Steve Aoki, is to come under the wing of the global sports, music and entertainment management company James Grant Group (JGG) as part of a multi-million dollar merger.

Headquartered in London and with U.S. offices in L.A. and Washington, JGG provides management, accountancy, legal and marketing services to over 1,500 clients spanning the worlds of sports, literary, television, digital and music.

Clients signed to its two U.K.-based music management companies - Hall or Nothing and James Grant Music – include The Script, Manic Street Preachers, James Arthur and former One Direction member Louis Tomlinson.

On the other side of the Atlantic, Deckstar’s 50-plus strong roster includes Jane’s Addiction, Culture Club, Air, Liz Phair, EDM producers Datsik and Deorro, and Dutch dance act Showtek, alongside Aoki and Blink-182.

As part of the acquisition deal-- which was supported by $12.1 million in funding from Investec Growth & Acquisition Finance, although Billboard understands the final deal was valued higher -- JGG’s LA-based team will relocate to Deckstar’s Wilshire Boulevard offices. Deckstar founders Lawrence Vavra and Matt Colon will also join JGG's shareholder and operational boards.

"The last ten years of Deckstar's development have seen huge changes in both our artists' careers and the musical landscape,” said Colon in a statement. “In our search for the right partner, it became increasingly apparent that today's artists require a worldwide footprint with resources outside the traditional music industry to face the demands of a global entertainment audience,” he went on to say, citing JGG’s “stable of TV, film, music, sports, digital influencers and talent executives” as a key factor in joining forces.

“As artists become more dependent on management, we want to be able to set a new standard on a global level,” added Varva. “Merging with a partner with the same philosophy in music, television, social and sports allows both companies to scale more quickly whilst maintaining our core values and fundamental beliefs about the principles of artist management.”

Talks to bring together the two companies began over a year ago, with the newly enlarged group offering music clients a full 360 service across all aspects of business and financial management, marketing, promotion and intellectual property. New hires will be made as the group expands its operations and grows its U.S. offering. Shaun Mullin of Investec Growth & Acquisition Finance, called the deal “a great example of how U.K. businesses can become truly global.”

“I am delighted that we have been able to persuade the Deckstar team to join us,” said JGG CEO Neil Rodford in a statement. “Our combined client roster creates a depth and breadth of music artists which puts us at the forefront of the music management industry on both sides of the Atlantic.”