Artémis Closes CAA Deal, Becoming Agency’s Majority Shareholder

Investment firm Temasek will remain a minority investor in the entertainment and sports giant

François-Henri Pinault, Artemis/CAA Logos, Bryan Lourd
François-Henri Pinault (Photo: Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty), Artemis and CAA Logos, Bryan Lourd (Amy Sussman/Getty)

Creative Artists Agency and Artémis have closed their previously announced agreement for the Pinault family’s investment company to become majority stakeholders in the entertainment and sports agency, the companies said Monday.

As previously reported in TheWrap, Bryan Lourd, Kevin Huvane and Richard Lovett will remain co-chairmen of CAA. Lourd will be named chief executive officer while Jim Burtson will remain president. Singapore-headquartered global investment firm Temasek will remain a minority investor in CAA. CMC Capital will remain a CAA strategic partner.

Artémis CEO Francois-Henri Pinault had been in discussions to buy the stake in the talent agency — which underwent company-wide layoffs in early August — since at least July.

TPG will exit the investment of 35% of the agency that it made in 2010, which it increased to a majority stake in 2014. The secondary investment was reported to be $225 million for the 53% majority stake. It was a landmark moment for growth for CAA, and led to speculation that the principals might exit.

Artémis’ holdings, which amount to more than $40 billion, include Kering, the luxury group that is home to Gucci, Saint Laurent, Bottega Veneta, Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen and Brioni. It also has holdings in Christie’s, the world’s leading auction house and Pinault Collection, the world’s largest private collection of contemporary art.

The deal came at a complicated time for the entertainment industry. This time last month, it was still in the grips of dual labor stoppages. However, the WGA strike came to an end. Hopes are high that the still-striking SAG-AFTRA union will come to a brokered peace with the AMPTP. Negotiations will begin again on Monday.

In just under a month, Artemis has purchased CAA, Wasserman has bought Brillstein Entertainment and Sally Singer joined WME from Amazon as their new president of Art + Commerce under WME Fashion. Larger corporations not necessarily defined by entertainment are getting into the entertainment business.

Even amid handwringing over whether filmed entertainment is still a pop culture focal point, large companies with money to spend are still drawn to the still-glamorous world of show business.

When he spoke to TheWrap last month about his merger, Casey Wasserman argued “The only thing that’s changing is how the content is consumed, distributed or monetized. The content and those who make it are still of value.”

That seems to be the consensus, whether optimistic or ignoring the rabble-rousing, among those now adding showbiz to their portfolios.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.