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Saturday, May 18, 2024

Pinault Completes Landmark $7B Acquisition Of CAA

  • Major talent agency now in control of French billionaire
  • Existing leadership team to remain in place
Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY NETWORK

French billionaire Francois-Henri Pinault has completed his $7 billion acquisition of Creative Artists Agency in a deal sure to have a seismic impact on sports and entertainment.

The deal, expected for weeks, will see Pinault take majority control of the agency from Texas-based private equity firm TPG. Temasek Holdings, a Singapore state-owned investment company, will remain a minority investor in CAA. 

Pinault is making the deal through his family investment company, Artémis, which also controls a series of luxury brands including Gucci and Saint Laurent, as well as the Christie’s auction house. He’ll retain the agency’s existing leadership trio of Bryan Lourd, Kevin Huvane, and Richard Lovett, who will remain co-chairs under new long-term commitments.

 A formal deal closing is projected for later this year.

“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.

While Pinault touted CAA’s “very bright path ahead,” the entire agency business is navigating a stressful Hollywood landscape.

Film and TV production has effectively shut down in the first dual writers’ and actors’ strikes since 1960. Agencies’ ability to negotiate sports deals is also constricted by numerous factors including cutthroat competition for clients, pressure on commissions, and rookie-scale contracts and draft slotting.

Still, CAA oversees nearly $18 billion in sports contracts and represents leading athletes such as MLB’s two-way phenom Shohei Ohtani, NFL superstar Justin Jefferson, and 12-time NBA All-Star Chris Paul.

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