French billionaire Francois-Henri Pinault is reportedly in advanced talks to acquire a majority stake in the Creative Artists Agency.
According to sources who have spoken to Bloomberg, under the deal the Hollywood talent agency would have a valuation of at least $7 billion. CAA currently represents thousands of actors, directors, screenwriters, authors and athletes, as well as being very active in the music space, of course, coordinating the live and touring activities of a big roster of artists.
Pinault is CEO of the luxury fashion group Kering and President of Groupe Artémis, which has a 40.9% stake in the fashion firm. Among other things, Kering owns the Gucci and Saint Laurent brands, while Groupe Artémis also has a stake in Puma, and owns things like the Christies auction house, French news magazine Le Point and cruise ship operator Ponant. Its tech investments division has also invested in the likes of Bytedance and Deezer.
Bloomberg’s sources did note that the talks between CAA and Pinault, while at an advanced stage, may as yet not result in an actual deal.
The talks are proceeding as Hollywood basically goes into shutdown because of strike action by actors union SAG-AFTRA. The actors last week joined members of the Writers Guild Of America in going on strike in a dispute over how streaming monies are shared out and how the Hollywood studios plan to capitalise on the opportunities created by generative AI. So, pretty familiar concerns to anyone in the music community.
That strike action will obviously impact relevant divisions at agencies like CAA.