French billionaire Francois-Henri Pinault set to buy majority stake in CAA for $7B

Francois-Henri Pinault, the French luxury goods magnate worth more than $40 billion, is closing in on a $7 billion deal that would net him a majority stake in Creative Artists Agency, the talent house that represents A-list Hollywood stars such as Anne Hathaway, Jennifer Anniston, Vin Diesel, and Charlize Theron.

Pinault, the 61-year-old who derives most of his wealth from his family’s controlling stake in Kering, is in talks to acquire a controlling interest in CAA from private equity firm TPG Inc, according to Bloomberg News.

TPG acquired a 35% stake in CAA in 2010.

The Fort Worth, Texas-based firm boosted its ownership stake to 54% in 2014, taking control of the business at a $1.1 billion valuation, according to Bloomberg.

Francois-Henri Pinault, the French luxury goods magnate worth more than $40 billion, is reportedly closing in on a $7 billion deal that would net him a majority stake in Creative Artists Agency.
Francois-Henri Pinault, the French luxury goods magnate worth more than $40 billion, is reportedly closing in on a $7 billion deal that would net him a majority stake in Creative Artists Agency.AFP via Getty Images

Pinault, whose family owns a controlling stake in the Kering luxury goods empire, is married to Salma Hayek, a prominent CAA client.
Pinault, whose family owns a controlling stake in the Kering luxury goods empire, is married to Salma Hayek, a prominent CAA client.FilmMagic

While the situation remains fluid, talks between the parties are expected to wrap up sometime within the next few weeks, sources told Bloomberg News.

CAA’s $7 billion valuation is up from the $5.5 billion figure that was placed on the agency last year after its $750 million acquisition of rival ICM Partners, which at the time of the deal was the fourth largest talent agency.

Pinault, who is married to another prominent CAA client, actress Salma Hayek, could lean on the agency’s roster of Hollywood stars to tout his stable of fashion and luxury brands, which includes Gucci, Saint Laurent, Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen and Pomellato.

CAA's $7 billion valuation is up from the $5.5 billion figure that was placed on the agency last year after its $750 million acquisition of rival ICM Partners.
CAA’s $7 billion valuation is up from the $5.5 billion figure that was placed on the agency last year after its $750 million acquisition of rival ICM Partners.Getty Images

Charlize Theron is another A-list client who is represented by Creative Artists Agency.
Charlize Theron is another A-list client who is represented by Creative Artists Agency.Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images
The Pinault family also owns a controlling stake in Christie’s auction house as well as several wineries.

CAA, which employs around 2,000 people worldwide, was founded in 1975 by talent agents Michael Ovitz and Ronald Meyer.

In the decades since its founding, the firm has expanded its business into sports, theater, and corporate marketing and advertising.


Vin Disel of the “Fast and Furious” series is also represented by CAA.WireImage

Anne Hathaway, star of "The Devil Wears Prada," is a CAA client.
Anne Hathaway, star of “The Devil Wears Prada,” is a CAA client.Getty Images

Jennifer Anniston of "Friends" fame is among the stable of stars who have retained the services of CAA.
Jennifer Anniston of “Friends” fame is among the stable of stars who have retained the services of CAA.WireImage
CAA is looking to keep pace with rival Endeavor, the Beverly Hills-based talent colossus co-founded by super-agent Ari Emanuel.

Endeavor has moved aggressively in years past to expand its portfolio of entertainment properties.

Earlier this year, the parent company of mixed martial arts empire Ultimate Fighting Championship announced a $21 billion merger with World Wrestling Entertainment.

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