Formula One owner Liberty Media is in talks to invest in Creative Artists Agency (CAA), the entertainment and sports group that represents stars from Lady Gaga to Cristiano Ronaldo, according to people briefed on the discussions.
CAA is one of Hollywood’s most powerful entertainment agencies and has the industry’s largest sports representation business with top stars from the NFL, NBA and Major League Baseball on its books. It also advises on sports media and commercial deals.
Liberty Media’s interest in a representation powerhouse points to a convergence between rights holders, distribution channels and talent, and is indicative of other shifts in the media sector.
An investment in CAA, which is controlled by private equity firm TPG, would give Liberty greater negotiating leverage for its other businesses, namely Formula One. It knows CAA well, having hired the agency to sell its sponsorship rights after Liberty Media bought the motorsport in 2017.
Liberty Media is controlled by its billionaire chairman John Malone. A related company also controlled by Mr Malone, Liberty Global, is the owner of telecoms group Virgin Media, the parent company of Virgin Media Ireland (previously TV3 Group) since 2015.
Both US-focused Liberty Media and the international business Liberty Global have been building up a portfolio of media assets in recent years.
CAA was founded in 1975 and its client roster includes Hollywood A-listers George Clooney, Sandra Bullock and Brad Pitt.
Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2019