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CAA majority stake sold to Pinault investment firm

Century City, CA, Monday, September 27, 2021 - The CAA building. Century City-based Creative Artists Agency said Monday that it is acquiring ICM Partners, the fourth-largest Hollywood talent agency, for an undisclosed price. (Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times)

Creative Artists Agency’s office in Century City. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Creative Artists Agency, the Hollywood talent representation giant, on Thursday announced that it will have a new majority owner — the investment company of the billionaire Pinault family.

Artémis, founded in 1992 by French businessman François Pinault, will add CAA to its portfolio, which includes assets such as luxury brands Gucci and Alexander McQueen.

The terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The deal gives CAA a valuation of $7 billion, according to a person familiar with the matter who was not authorized to comment.

Previously, the private equity firm TPG held the majority ownership stake in CAA. TPG first invested in CAA in 2010, acquiring a 35% stake. TPG became CAA’s majority owner in 2014.

Read more:Creative Artists Agency to buy ICM Partners in landmark deal

Under the deal, CAA Co-Chairmen Bryan Lourd, Kevin Huvane and Richard Lovett will remain in their roles. They “have each made long-term commitments to continue leading the agency,” CAA said. Jim Burtson will continue to serve as president of CAA. After the deal closes, Lourd will become CAA’s chief executive.

The deal is expected to be completed later this year.

“Artémis is a strategic investor of the highest order, with global reach and resources across countless areas of our clients’ interests, a deeply sophisticated understanding of global brands and how to support their growth, and a passion for creativity and innovation that matches ours and that of our clients,” Lourd, Lovett, Huvane and Burtson said in a statement.

Francois-Henri Pinault, Artémis’ chief executive and son of the firm’s founder, said his company looks forward to “supporting the agency’s very bright path ahead.”

“As a leader in its field with an outstanding management team, a crystal-clear focus on providing world-class service to world-class clients and a tremendous track record of growth, CAA has all the relevant characteristics to be part of the Artémis family, adding increased diversity, both in terms of geographical footprint and business activities, to our other assets,” Pinault said.

Francois-Henri Pinault’s wife is actor Salma Hayek, who is a CAA client. Other clients of the Century City-based talent agency include Tom Hanks, Ariana Grande and Mindy Kaling.

Read more:Creative Artists Agency signs lease for new Century City headquarters

Artémis counts consolidated assets valued at more than $40 billion, including luxury goods group Kering, sporting goods maker Puma and auction house Christie’s.

CAA said that the Singapore-based investment firm Temasek will remain a minority investor and that CMC Capital, a China-based fund, will remain a strategic partner.

The change in ownership comes as talent agencies have diversified their businesses and moved to consolidate amid rapid changes in the entertainment industry. CAA last year acquired Hollywood’s fourth largest talent agency, ICM Partners, in a deal valued at $750 million, changing the representation landscape.


Entertainment-related businesses have been seriously hurt by the dual Hollywood strikes, which have delayed many film and TV productions. In August, CAA laid off 60 people. While the strikes by members of the Writers Guild of America and the actors’ union SAG-AFTRA contributed to the decision, CAA had been examining staffing levels before the walkouts, a person familiar with the matter who was not authorized to comment said at the time. CAA has more than 3,000 employees.

Read more:Writers’ strike: What’s at stake and how it could disrupt Hollywood

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.

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