United Talent Agency takes over German soccer player agency ROOF

Photo: Dr. Frank Thiä­ner, Part­ner at PÖLLATH in Munich
18. June 2024

The United Talent Agency (UTA) takes over the leading German soccer player agency ROOF “Repre­sen­ta­ti­ves Of Outstan­ding Foot­bal­lers”. — ROOF is one of the largest soccer player agen­cies in Euro­pean profes­sio­nal soccer and Europe’s leading profes­sio­nal soccer consul­tancy with offices in Germany, Great Britain and Spain.

Through the part­ner­ship with UTA/Klutch, ROOF is joining the ranks of the world’s top sports recruit­ment agen­cies. The play­ers served by ROOF will gain direct access to the Ameri­can market as a result of the merger and will be able to bene­fit from UTA/Klutch’s expe­ri­ence in advi­sing play­ers in the future. In return, UTA, which with its subsi­diary Klutch has so far mainly advi­sed athle­tes from US sports, inclu­ding the NBA, NFL, WNBA and NCAA, will gain access to the Euro­pean continent.

POELLATH advi­sed ROOF on this transaction.

Under the direc­tion of Dr. Frank Thiä­ner a multi­di­sci­pli­nary team of POELLATH toge­ther with PwC Legal led by Lars Benger with Rebecca Klenke provi­ded compre­hen­sive legal and tax advice to the mana­ging part­ners of ROOF and the finan­cial inves­tor INVISION on the sale of their stake in ROOF Group GmbH to United Talent Agency, LLC, toge­ther with its sports consul­ting firm Klutch Sports Group (Klutch). The mana­ging part­ners of ROOF have acqui­red a signi­fi­cant stake in UTA as part of the transaction.

In 2019, POELLATH had alre­ady advi­sed the foun­ders and share­hol­ders of ROOF, form­erly arena11 sports group GmbH, on the entry of the finan­cial inves­tor INVISION. By taking on the insti­tu­tio­nal inves­tor, the ROOF Group took the first step towards successfully conso­li­da­ting and profes­sio­na­li­zing the Euro­pean player consul­tant market. Follo­wing the successful merger with Coaches & More GmbH, Spie­ler­rat GmbH subse­quently joined the joint venture. This was follo­wed in 2022 by the merger with the British player consul­tants Neil Fewings and Nabile Hakimi and the estab­lish­ment of a joint company in the UK. ROOF now repres­ents over 150 of the best foot­bal­lers and coaches in the world’s most important soccer leagues, inclu­ding the English Premier League, Spanish La Liga, Italian Serie A, French Ligue 1 and the German Bundesliga.

Björn Beze­mer, share­hol­der and mana­ging direc­tor of ROOF, commen­ted on the tran­sac­tion: “We felt very well advi­sed by POELLATH and PwC as part of the team on this major step for us. Frank and Lars were part of the small nego­tia­ting team that made the tran­sac­tion possi­ble not only legally but also strategically.”

Foun­ded in 1991, UTA is a leading talent, sports, enter­tain­ment and consul­ting firm repre­sen­ting artists, athle­tes, storytel­lers, enter­tai­ners and brands world­wide. Among the cele­bri­ties under contract with UTA are US stars such as LeBron James of the Los Ange­les Lakers, actors Sylves­ter Stal­lone, Arnold Schwar­zen­eg­ger and Harri­son Ford, and singer Chris­tina Aguilera.

ROOF is one of the leading agen­cies in the soccer land­scape and repres­ents around 150 soccer play­ers and coaches in the five major Euro­pean leagues — the English Premier League, Spanish La Liga, Italian Serie A, French Ligue 1 and the German Bundes­liga. ROOF advi­ses German inter­na­tio­nals such as Kai Havertz, Niclas Füll­krug and Marc-André ter Stegen, as well as Virgil van Dijk and Harvey Elliott from the English Premier League. ROOF curr­ently opera­tes from offices in Munich, London and Madrid and intends to expand internationally.

Foun­ded in 2012, Klutch is an athlete consul­ting agency that repres­ents some of the world’s grea­test athle­tes in profes­sio­nal sports. Klutch laun­ched its part­ner­ship with UTA in 2019, provi­ding stra­te­gic support in areas inclu­ding bran­ding, commu­ni­ca­ti­ons, content, social respon­si­bi­lity and other oppor­tu­ni­ties at the inter­sec­tion of sports, enter­tain­ment and culture.

POELLATH provi­ded compre­hen­sive legal and tax advice to the mana­ging part­ners of ROOF with the follo­wing team:

Dr. Frank Thiä­ner (Part­ner, Lead, M&A/PE, Munich)
Gerald Herr­mann (Part­ner, Tax Law, Munich)
Daniel Wied­mann, LL.M. (NYU) (Asso­cia­ted Part­ner, Distri­bu­tion and Anti­trust Law, Frank­furt aM)
Dr. Domi­nik Gerli­cher, LL.M. (Coun­sel, M&A/PE, Munich)
Dr. Erik Muschei­tes (Coun­sel, Tax Law, Frank­furt aM)
Torben Busch (Senior Asso­ciate, M&A/PE, Munich)
Dr. Domi­nik Sorber (Senior Asso­ciate, Employ­ment Law, Munich)
Jannis Lührs (Asso­ciate, Tax Law, Munich)


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