Wednesday September 27, 2023

Sports, Hollywood Agency CAA Could Be Acquired by French Billionaire

  • Francois-Henri Pinault is in talks to buy the leading talent agency.
  • The firm represents stars like Shohei Ohtani and Cristiano Ronaldo.
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French billionaire Francois-Henri Pinault is reportedly in “advanced discussions” to acquire a majority stake in Creative Artists Agency.

Citing anonymous sources, Bloomberg reported late Thursday night that CAA could receive a valuation of more than $7 billion in the potential deal, though the report also stated that talks could end without a final agreement.

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Stacked with talent that includes MLB sensation Shohei Ohtani and soccer legend Cristiano Ronaldo, CAA has an estimated $17.8 billion in sports contracts between active players and non-playing clients like coaches.

The Hollywood powerhouse, which represents talent across all forms of entertainment, is the most valuable sports agency in the world, according to Forbes. 

TPG, a Texas-based private equity firm, acquired a controlling interest in CAA in 2014, a move that valued CAA at $1.1 billion at the time. CAA’s largest acquisition since TPG’s takeover was finalized in 2022 with its $750 million purchase of ICM Partners.

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The Pinault family is among the wealthiest in Europe, best known as the biggest shareholder in Kering, which owns a number of luxury fashion houses from Gucci to Yves Saint Laurent.

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Henri’s interest in buying CAA comes just as Screen Actors Guild and Writers Guild of America strikes have destabilized the American film and TV industries where the agency reps the likes of Tom Cruise and Margot Robbie, stars of what are expected to be this summer’s highest-grossing movies, “Mission: Impossible 7” and “Barbie.”

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