CAA, the talent agency giant known for its roster of A-list clients, has announced a change in ownership. The majority stake of the company has been sold to Artémis, an investment firm controlled by François-Henri Pinault. Pinault is the CEO of the fashion firm Kering and is also the billionaire heir of a French luxury goods fortune.
Despite the change in ownership, CAA will continue to be led by its current leadership team, including Bryan Lourd, Kevin Huvane, and Richard Lovett. All three men have signed long-term commitments to continue leading the agency. In fact, Bryan Lourd is expected to be named CEO of the company under its new ownership. Jim Burtson will remain as president.
Since 2014, CAA has been majority owned by the private equity firm TPG. However, the sale to Artémis marks a significant exit for TPG. When TPG first acquired its majority stake in 2010, it valued the talent agency at $1.1 billion. The terms of the deal with Artémis were not disclosed, but it has been reported that TPG was seeking a valuation of about $7 billion for CAA.
This sale comes just one year after CAA acquired ICM, a move that reshaped the talent agency landscape. At the time of the acquisition, the combined CAA and ICM was valued at $5 billion. Artémis will be acquiring TPG’s stake in CAA, while Temasek, a Singapore-based global investment firm, will remain a minority owner, and CMC Capital will remain a strategic partner. Both Temasek and CMC Capital invested in CAA in 2017.
François-Henri Pinault, the new majority owner of CAA, intends to keep the agency privately held. Artémis, his investment firm, also owns Kering, a luxury goods group that includes brands like Gucci, Saint Laurent, Bottega Veneta, Balenciaga, and Alexander McQueen. In addition to Kering, Artémis also owns Christie’s, a prominent auction house, and has a diverse portfolio that includes wine estates and a contemporary art collection.
This acquisition of a majority stake in CAA is notable because it is the biggest acquisition in Hollywood’s representation space since WME’s $2.4 billion bid for IMG in 2013. CAA’s rivals have also been making moves to expand their businesses. UTA, another major talent agency, sold an equity stake to Investcorp and the Public Sector Pension Investment Board in 2018, and has since secured further private equity investment to fuel its growth. WME’s parent company, Endeavor, is now a publicly traded company and is looking to close a megadeal for UFC and WWE as it expands into the sports and entertainment space.
The new ownership of CAA brings the agency closer to the luxury space, where Pinault has a significant presence. The leadership team at CAA expressed excitement about the partnership with Artémis, praising the investment firm’s global reach, resources, and passion for creativity and innovation. They also expressed gratitude to TPG for their strategic expertise and support over the years.
Pinault also spoke highly of CAA, stating that the agency has all the relevant characteristics to be a part of the Artémis family. He believes that CAA’s insight, relationships, and access across various sectors will play a crucial role in driving global opportunities for its clients. He is looking forward to supporting the agency’s path ahead.
Overall, the sale of a majority stake in CAA to Artémis represents a significant change in ownership for the talent agency giant. With Artémis as the new majority owner, CAA is expected to continue its growth and success in the entertainment industry. The partnership between CAA and Artémis brings together two powerhouses in their respective fields, creating exciting opportunities for their clients and the industry as a whole.