Shelter Music Group Acquires London-Based Ayita As BMG Plots International Artist-Management Expansion

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Photo Credit: BMG

Beverly Hills-headquartered artist-management company Shelter Music Group has officially acquired UK-based Ayita Artist Management.

Shelter Music Group – which inked a non-exclusive partnership with BMG back in December of 2019 – just recently unveiled the Ayita Artist Management buyout via a formal release. The deal’s financial terms haven’t been publicly revealed, but Shelter is set to absorb Ayita’s 31 clients, thereby upping its total roster to 103 managed acts.

Shelter’s existing clients include Fleetwood Mac, ZZ Top, the Buddy Holly estate, and Godsmack, with creators such as Fisher, 220 Kid, and DJ Chris Lake among the 31 professionals who are joining from Ayita. Regarding personnel, 41-employee Shelter will see Ayita “partners” Brett Fischer, David Gray, Harvey Tadman, and Stevie Dreher join its management team “and effectively launch BMG’s entrance into artist management in the UK.”

Addressing the acquisition in a statement, BMG CEO Hartwig Masuch said: “When BMG first partnered with Carl Stubner and Shelter in 2019, we said we would create a new global management service option for our clients with access to all of BMG’s resources.

“Despite the pandemic, I’m proud to say our plan is well underway with Shelter expanding its international presence and increasing its client base more than fivefold since then. Our ambitions remain unchanged. We congratulate Shelter on its growing scale and scope,” finished Masuch, whose company last month reported record half-year earnings.

And in a statement of his own, Shelter chairman Carl Stubner appeared to acknowledge COVID-19 lockdown measures’ unprecedented impact upon the live-music space and, in turn, management professionals.

“In these unprecedented times, we are fortunate not just to be moving forward, but to be growing our company with new high-level managers and clients. We benefit from having such a great partner in BMG who believes in our mission and supports our endeavors,” Stubner said in part.

Since 2020’s start, the music industry (as well as the broader entertainment sphere) has experienced a number of noteworthy shakeups in management and talent representation.

March of 2020, for instance, brought with it ICM Partners’ purchase of London-based Primary Talent International, and the play was followed one year later by UTA’s buyout of Echo Location (which is also located in London). Plus, a group of laid-off Paradigm music agents founded a competing agency called TBA before Paradigm offloaded its music-touring division altogether.

Lil Wayne earlier this year signed with UTA ahead of his forthcoming I Am Not a Human Being III, whereas The Weeknd jumped to CAA. And on the management side, Nicki Minaj separated from Irving Azoff’s Full Stop Management, while Kelly Clarkson, Lil Wayne, Chance the Rapper, and others remain embroiled in courtroom confrontations with their former managers.