IS LIBERTY MEDIA ABOUT TO BUY INTO TALENT AGENCY CAA?
Liberty Media has been a busy bee in the music industry of late.
Liberty-controlled Sirius XM’s agreed $3.5bn acquisition of Pandora is set to close by the end of March – while Liberty itself has been linked as a possible buyer of a stake in $33bn-valued Universal Music Group.
Now, another music industry institution is being linked with US-based Liberty – Creative Artists Agency (CAA).
According to a report in the Financial Times, Liberty is ‘in talks’ to acquire a stake in CAA, which represents the live careers of artists ranging from Lady Gaga to Ariana Grande, Bob Dylan, Carrie Underwood, Ed Sheeran and Kanye West (pictured). CAA also represents a host of talent in the world of sport – an industry Liberty knows well as the owner of motorsport giant Formula One.
Los Angeles-headquartered CAA’s current shareholders include private equity firm TPG – also an investor in Spotify – which owns 60% of the agency.
Minority stake-owners in CAA include Singapore-based Temasek, also an investor in SoundCloud, plus China’s CMC Capital Partners.
When TPG upped its stake in CAA in 2014 in a $225m deal, the talent agency was valued at more than $1bn.
CAA and Liberty Media declined to comment on today’s rumor.
The FT reports that Liberty is likely to be keen to acquire a “substantial stake” in CAA, although it cited sources briefed on the negotiations who said there was no guarantee of a deal being reached.
Liberty Media is run by CEO Greg Maffei and Chairman John Malone. Maffei is also Chairman of SiriusXM, Live Nation and TripAdvisor.