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Kering’s François-Henri Pinault finalizes acquisition of talent agency CAA

The deal will be pursued via the Pinault family investment company Artémis, which operates separately from Kering. Image credit: Kering


The forces behind French conglomerate Kering are doubling down in Hollywood.

French businessman François-Henri Pinault, CEO and chairman of Kering, has finalized the acquisition of a majority stake in global talent agency Creative Artists Agency (CAA) from American private equity firm TPG. The deal, worth an amount that remains undisclosed, will be pursued via the Pinault family investment company Artémis, which operates separately from Kering.

“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,” said Mr. Pinault, CEO of Artémis, in a statement.

“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," he said. “We look forward to supporting the agency’s very bright path ahead.”

Closing on CAA

News of the agreement arrives after reports of initial negotiations swirled throughout the summer, as the firm's leaders level up its business affairs worldwide with a high-profile investment in the Los Angeles-based talent firm, reportedly worth $7 billion, per Bloomberg.

Artémis, which itself holds a 40.9 percent equity stake in Kering, confirmed the move on Thursday.

François-Henri Pinault is chairman/CEO of Kering François-Henri Pinault is chairman/CEO of Kering. Image credit: Kering

The shift could carry major implications for the holding company’s status, though the billionaire behind the buy is arguably no stranger to the art of mergers and acquisitions.

Having initiated investments in names such as Italian fashion label Gucci and French fashion house Saint Laurent right before the turn of the century, followed by French jeweler Boucheron in 2000, plus French fashion house Balenciaga and Italian fashion house Bottega Veneta (see story) the year after, among others of that decade.

It could be said that Kering's top executive is skilled in spearheading the purchases of pioneering brands, demonstrating a propensity for using those new properties to drive the growth of the globe's second-largest luxury company by revenue time and time again.

Employing a strategy endemic to Mr. Pinault's playbook once more, CAA now joins the family-owned empire's roster.

Though the company will reportedly continue operating in silo, keeping CEO Bryan Lourd in his current role, the purchase could prove transformational for those at the helm of Kering (see story), considering CAA represents some of the world's most famous talents.