Gresham's got talent

The UK firm is in exclusive talks to buy talent management agency James Grant Media Group, which looks after stars such as media mogul Simon Cowell and celebrity hypnotist Paul McKenna.

Mid-market UK firm Gresham Private Equity has entered exclusive talks to buy “certain parts” of Formation Group, a talent management group that represents celebrities including media mogul Simon Cowell, hypnotist Paul McKenna and daytime television duo Richard Madeley and Judy Finnegan.

Simon Cowell

Both Gresham and Formation confirmed the discussions, but declined to comment on which parts of the group, which contains both a talent representation agency as well as wealth management and property development divisions, were of interest to the private equity firm.

A source with knowledge of the process, however, confirmed that the discussions related to five of the group’s seven subsidiaries, including London-based talent agency James Grant Media Group.  The property development and wealth management subsidiaries are understood to be excluded from the potential deal.

Earlier this year US private equity firm OpenGate Capital bought a majority stake in British model agency Models 1, which manages well known models including Yasmin Le Bon, Linda Evangelista, Twiggy and Agyness Deyn.

Formation, which is listed on London’s junior stock exchange AiM, has a market capitalisation of around £20 million. Since both sides confirmed they had entered negotiations shares in Formation rose by around 30 percent to 9.25 pence.