No UTA/Paradigm merger this time
After several weeks of increasing rumours about a possible acquisition by UTA, Paradigm chairman and CEO Sam Gores firmly put rumors to rest in an email sent to the agency employees Sunday afternoon.

In it, he explained that UTA had indeed made an offer to acquire Paradigm, one that "would have represented one of the largest talent agency transactions in the history of our business." The offer was, as suspected, for the talent/literary and music divisions.

The latter is a particular strength of Paradigm`s, representing top artists including Janelle Monae, Imagine Dragons, Kacey Musgraves, Shawn Mendes and Zedd, among many more.

But "after careful consideration and in consultation with leaders of both the Music and Talent/Literary executive groups, I have made the decision to shut down discussions and not make this deal," Gores wrote.

"We admire Sam and the business he and his colleagues have built," UTA CEO Jeremy Zimmer said in a statement shortly after Gores` email was disseminated. "We are disappointed we didn`t come to an agreement. But we wish him and everyone at Paradigm the best."

It isn`t the first time the two agencies have discussed some sort of possible merger or acquisition — occasional conversations have taken place as far back as a decade ago, as reported in the trades. But recent agitation in the agency world — the two-months-and-counting dispute with the WGA over packaging fees and affiliate production and Endeavor angling to become the first publicly traded talent agency — intensified the pitch, and paranoia, around the latest talks, a factor that Gores referenced in his email.

"I want to address the events of the past week and the press reports," he wrote. "Our industry is in an era of significant change and also unprecedented opportunity. The complexion of what the agency business will look like has led all of the major agencies including ourselves to look at ways to strengthen their platforms and provide more resources to clients."

Ultimately, Gores decided to end talks not because of unfavorable deal terms, a source close to the matter told The Hollywood Reporter, but in order to shut down speculation as the two parties were still far from closing a deal. "There are reasons why a combination like this would have made sense for both agencies," he wrote, "but in the end, what is more compelling for us is how unique the culture at Paradigm is and how powerful our independent path can be."

Pictured: Paradigm chairman Sam Gores