CAA Agents Agenting for Bigger Slice of Sale
Some of the firm's most senior members, shocked at how little cash they're rumored to be making off the Artemis acquisition, are attempting to negotiate
Over the next few weeks, a handful of the most seasoned agents in Hollywood who’ve spent much of their careers toiling away at the most successful talent agency in the world will learn whether or not it’s all been worth it — at least financially. The acquisition of Creative Artists Agency by Artemis, a French luxury goods holding company owned by the Pinault family, is the ‘liquidity event’ many who’ve been compensated in CAA stock have been waiting for. The deal values CAA at around $7 billion, and although the sale won’t close until later this year, many current and former CAA employees I’ve spoken to are perplexed by the terms being presented to them.
It's been reported (first by The Daily Beast) that CAA principals Bryan Lourd, Kevin Huvane, and Richard Lovett plan to allow vested stockholders to liquidate between 10 and 15 percent of their equity. Multiple sources have told The Ankler that the figure is likely closer to 10 percent with no clear path yet to redeeming the other 90 percent (meanwhile, the three principles plus CAA president James Burtson are said to be divvying up $200 million, according to a report in the Financial Times). The parameters of the financial windfalls only have been communicated verbally, with paperwork to follow in the coming weeks. A CAA spokesman declined to comment.
Whether that 10 percent rule will apply to everyone regardless of where they fall in the pecking order has become a hot button issue in the firm.
This week, Todd Feldman, who joined CAA in 2005 and represents Todd Phillips, Jerry Bruckheimer and Justin Lin among others, is sitting down with the principals to discuss how much of his vested stock he can expect to cash out, The Ankler has learned. And he isn’t the only agency powerhouse doing so.