In a major move that brings the fashion and film industries closer together, French billionaire Francois Henri-Pinault’s Artemis has acquired the majority stake in Creative Artists Agency (CAA) previously held by global investment firm TPG.
The founder, chairman and CEO of Kering Group’s investment company announced on Thursday that Artemis had officially signed a deal with the Hollywood superagency following months of speculation.
The deal adds to Artemis’s asset portfolio valued at $40bn. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. It is expected to close later this year, according to the usual closing conditions. Bloomberg News reported, unconfirmed, that the deal was worth $7bn earlier this summer.
CAA will retain its current leadership trio consisting of Bryan Lourd and Kevin Huvane. Lourd will be named CEO of CAA when the deal closes. Jim Burtson who led the CAA team in the deal is expected to remain as president. The deal comes as the Writers Guild Of America (WGA) and SAG-AFTRA (SAG-AFTRA) strikes continue in Hollywood. As the strikes continue, more talent may jump to brand promotional deals. This could further blur the lines between these two industries.
Artemis owns luxury powerhouse Kering, home to fashion brands like Gucci, Saint Laurent, Balenciaga and more, in addition to holdings in the art world (Christie’s, Pinault Collection) and wine estates.
In April, French fashion house Saint Laurent launched a film production company led by artistic director Anthony Vaccarello and took its first project – Pedro Almodovar’s short,
Strange Way Of Life starring Ethan Hawke and Pedro Pascal – to Cannes.Chanel continues to invest in cinema as official partner of several old and new industry events like the ongoing Deauville American Film Festival in September and the just-launched Nouvelles Vagues festival in Biarritz.
Meanwhile Kering continues to step up its foray into the world of film. The company is an official partner of the Cannes Film Festival and launched a Women in Motion programme in 2015 to spotlight inspiring female actors, filmmakers and producers that this year honoured Michelle Yeoh at a dinner in Cannes hosted and attended by Pinault and his wife actress Salma Hayek Pinault, a longtime CAA client along with the likes of Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg, and Zendaya.
Pinault said in a statement that the deal offers Artemis “increased diversity, both in terms of geographical footprint and business activities, to our other assets”.
He added: “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.”
In a joint statement Lourd, Huvane, Lovett, and Burtson said, “Artemis 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. Francois-Henri Pinault and his remarkable team, led by Heloise Temple-Boyer and Alban Greget, share our vision for a future of limitless new opportunities.”
They continued, “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.”
Jim Coulter, executive chairman and co-founder of TPG, said it has been a privilege to partner with CAA “during one of the most exciting periods of innovation and transformation across the media and entertainment industry”.
Singapore-headquartered global investment firm Temasek will remain a minority investor in CAA. CMC Capital will remain a strategic partner of CAA.