French billionaire Pinault seals deal for Hollywood agency CAA

By Mimosa Spencer and Dawn Chmielewski

PARIS (Reuters) -French luxury goods billionaire Francois-Henri Pinault has reached an agreement for a majority stake in Creative Artists Agency (CAA), adding Hollywood's premiere talent agency to his family empire which spans fashion, wine and contemporary art, parties involved said on Tuesday.

Financial details of the deal, in which his family holding company Artemis will buy the financial stake belonging to private equity firm TPG, were not provided.

The move by Pinault, who is chairman and CEO of Kering, the French group that owns fashion label Gucci, comes as the fashion industry becomes increasingly intertwined with the entertainment industry.

The presence of stars like Beyonce, Zendaya and Rihanna have become key to drawing the spotlight to fashion shows, and Kering's larger rival LVMH recruited Pharrell Williams to head menswear designs for Louis Vuitton.

The Los Angeles-based agency, which represents thousands of actors, directors and music artists including Beyonce and Pinault's wife, Salma Hayek, branched into representing athletes in 2006.

Talks between the parties were reported in July.

TPG first invested in CAA in 2010 and, in 2014, increased its stake to 53% in a deal valuing the agency at $1.1 billion.

The sale comes at a tumultuous time in Hollywood, with shows and movies disrupted by strikes of actors, film and television writers for months.

It also comes amid a flurry of deal-making in the luxury goods industry, including Kering's recent purchases of fashion firm Valentino and perfumer Creed, as high-end spenders begin reining in purchases after a strong post-pandemic spending spree.

Global investment firm Temasek will remain a minority investor in the agency while CMC Capital will remain a "strategic partner", according to a statement.

CAA's leadership triumvirate of Bryan Lourd, Kevin Huvane and Richard Lovett will remain as the agency's co-chairmen, though Lourd will be named chief executive officer when the transaction closes, expected to be finalized this year.

(Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta and Mimosa Spencer in Paris and Dawn Chmielewski in Los Angeles; editing by Jonathan Oatis and Tomasz Janowski and Timothy Gardner)