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New majority shareholder for talent agency giant CAA

Dave Grohl, lead singer of CAA client Foo Fighters

French billionaire tycoon Francois-Henri Pinault’s investment company has become the new majority owner of Creative Artists Agency (CAA).

Artémis has acquired global investment firm TPG’s stake in the Los Angeles-headquartered agency whose roster includes Beyonce, Harry Styles, Foo Fighters and Queen. Financial details were not disclosed, however the transaction is expected to be completed later this year.

In a statement issued by CAA and Artémis, it was revealed that co-chairmen Bryan Lourd, Kevin Huvane, and Richard Lovett have each made long-term commitments to continue leading the agency. Lourd is expected to be named chief executive upon the consummation of the transaction. Jim Burtson, who led the CAA deal team, will remain president.

The deal – reportedly worth $7bn – comes after a busy period of M&A activity for CAA, including the acquisitions of International Creative Management (ICM) and CAA Brand Management.

“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,” said CAA’s leadership team in a statement.

“François-Henri Pinault and his remarkable team, led by Héloïse Temple-Boyer and Alban Greget, share our vision for a future of limitless new opportunities.

“We are enormously grateful to TPG for their strategic expertise, invaluable support, and friendship over 13 years. We enjoyed tremendous growth and success together and look forward to continuing to collaborate on projects ahead.”

Global opportunities

Artémis has consolidated assets of more than $40bn, with holdings in luxury brands such as Gucci, Saint Laurent and auction house Christie’s.

Following the deal, Singapore-headquartered global investment firm Temasek will remain a minority investor in CAA. China’s CMC Capital remains a CAA strategic partner.

Pinault said: “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.

“CAA’s exceptional insight, relationships, and access across key sectors, combined with their widely regarded level of collaboration and innovation, gives the company a formidable role in driving global opportunities for its diverse and culture-defining clients. We look forward to supporting the agency’s very bright path ahead.”

Earlier this year, North American entertainment groups Agency for the Performing Arts (APA) and Artist Group International (AGI) merged to form a new full-service agency, Independent Artist Group (IAG). AGI’s roster of major touring artists includes Metallica, Rod Stewart and Linkin Park, while APA’s urban and comedy clients range from 50 Cent and Mary J. Blige to Cypress Hill and stand-up star Martin Lawrence.