CAA Officially Sells to François-Henri Pinault’s Artémis: ‘We Look Forward to Supporting the Agency’s Very Bright Path Ahead’

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The long-anticipated CAA sale has been formally announced. Photo Credit: Cytonn Photography

François-Henri Pinault’s long-rumored multibillion-dollar Creative Artists Agency (CAA) purchase has officially closed.

Artémis, Pinault’s family investment company and the owner of brands such as Gucci, just recently finalized a deal for a majority interest (previously held by TPG) in CAA, per a formal announcement message that was emailed to Digital Music News. Said release doesn’t specify the precise financials (or the CAA valuation) at hand.

According to prior reports, though, the deal was expected to value CAA at a whopping $7 billion; TPG had increased its stake to 53 percent at a comparatively modest $1.1 billion valuation in 2014.

In any event, CAA execs Bryan Lourd, Kevin Huvane, and Richard Lovett “have each made long-term commitments to continue leading the agency” and are poised to stay aboard as co-chairmen, the involved parties indicated. Additionally, Lourd will become CEO of CAA “upon the consummation of the transaction,” with Jim Burtson reupping as president.

Addressing the CAA sale in a joint statement, Lourd, Huvane, Lovett, and Burtson communicated in part: “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.”

Regarding the other entities with interests in CAA, the Singaporean government’s Temasek investment firm “will remain a minority investor,” per higher-ups, whereas Shanghai-based China Media Capital (CMC) “remains a CAA strategic partner.”

Last week, reports also hinted that Temasek could scoop up CMC’s CAA stake, but the carefully worded release put out by the relevant businesses suggests that this smaller play hasn’t yet wrapped.

In remarks of his own, François-Henri Pinault (who serves as president of Artémis) relayed: “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,” concluded the French billionaire.