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Brad Pitt, Reese Witherspoon, and Steven Spielberg have a new rep as French billionaire buys CAA, one of Hollywood’s biggest talent agencies



The billionaire Pinault family will play a leading role in Hollywood after agreeing to buy a majority stake in Creative Artists Agency, a talent management company that boasts Brad Pitt and Steven Spielberg among the A-listers it represents. 

Artémis, French businessman Francois-Henri Pinault’s holding company which owns assets worth more than $40 billion, will buy an estimated 53% stake in CAA from private equity firm TPG, which first acquired a stake in the agency in 2010.

The deal would put the value of CAA at $7 billion including debt, the Financial Times reported, citing people with knowledge of the matter. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed. 

“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,” Artémis’s Pinault said in a statement announcing the deal Thursday. 

The deal comes at a tricky time for the movie industry as it faces writer and actor strikes that have halted production for a number of projects. Unions have raised concerns over compensation, working conditions and new technologies like artificial intelligence, and studios are yet to reach a deal to address those matters.     

Welcome to Hollywood

Talks between one of France’s richest men and CAA have been underway for a few months, with early reports emerging in July. The agency, founded in 1975, has built a reputation for being a powerful institution in the movie industry.

The current leadership team at the talent agency will remain—Bryan Lourd, who represents the likes of George Clooney, will take the helm as the group’s CEO, and Kevin Huvane and Richard Lovett, will remain co-chairmen along with Lourd. The three have made “long-term commitments” to be at CAA, according to a statement by TPG Thursday.

CAA’s deal comes about a year after the agency acquired rival ICM Partners for $750 million, boosting its role as a Hollywood powerhouse. And for its part, CAA has looked beyond the movie business and has worked with sports personalities.

Other major talent houses have raised money in recent years to grow into new areas. For instance, Endeavor, one of CAA’s biggest rivals, has the Ultimate Fighting Championship and the World Wrestling Entertainment among its holdings. 

Artémis is an important player in the luxury world as Pinault is the chairman of Kering, the conglomerate that owns Gucci and Saint Laurent. The French holding company also has investments elsewhere, such as in auction house Christie’s, but the deal with CAA would mark its foray into Hollywood. 

Pinault is estimated to be worth $38 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

A stake in the talent agency will diversify Artémis’s portfolio outside Europe and grow its footprint in a lucrative industry. In some ways, the stake could up Kering’s competition with luxury behemoth LVMH, which has made inroads with the entertainment world by making singer Pharrell Williams the creative director of menswear at Louis Vuitton.

Kering has been trying its hand venturing into film—in April, Saint Laurent became the first luxury brand with a movie subsidiary called Saint Laurent Productions. Kering has also been a partner for the Cannes Film Festival since 2015, the New York Times reported.

Even if the investment is a first of its kind for Artémis, Pinault is no stranger to the world as he’s married to actress Salma Hayek Pinault, who is also a CAA client. 

CAA and Artémis didn’t immediately return Fortune’s request for comment.

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