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Private Equity Investor TPG Gets 'Creative' – Buys Into CAA

LOS ANGELES (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Creative Artists Agency (CAA) has finalized a deal to sell a 35% stake in the agency to private equity investment firm TG Capital. The financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed, but TPG has deep pockets, with more than $47 billion under management. Some analysts have suggested that the deal was close to $1 billion in valuation. The deal will not give TPG a controlling interest and CAA's managing partners reiterated their long-term commitment to leading the company.

The deal will also see the two partners create a $500 million pledge fund, providing access to significant capital for future investments. TPG has more than $47 billion under management.

Like other major agencies, CAA in recent years has been working to expand their offerings beyond the traditional bailiwick of percentage-based artist representation. CAA entered the sports world in 2006 and has become a major player, repping more than 650 sports figures from broadcasters and players, to teams and marketing specialists and have recently landed a deal to to sell major, multi-year corporate partnerships for the new Yankee Stadium and the soon-to-be renovated Madison Square Garden.

In 2008, in partnership with the former team from Merrill Lynch’s Media and Sports Structured Finance Group, CAA created an investment bank that has since raised or advised on more than $2 billion in media and sports transactions. The bank, Evolution Media Capital (EMC), has been at the center of many significant deals, from capital raising and structuring, broadcast rights negotiations and stadium financing, to mergers and acquisitions.

Among many other transactions, it represented the successful buyers of Major League Baseball’s Texas Rangers; structured Sony ATV’s $300 million of debt financing for its 50% ownership of the Beatles library; advised on the establishment of animation film studio Illumination, which recently released the film “Despicable Me,” earning $344 million at the box office to date; raised and structured the debt for a $245 million film fund for Participant Productions; raised $100 million for a National Geographic film fund; and conducted the sale of Authentic Entertainment, a CAA client and leading television production company, to media entity Endemol.

"CAA exists for one reason – our clients. Our new relationship with TPG will help us continue to build momentum in the work we do for clients every day. With TPG's experience and resources, this could be accomplished through capital investments that build upon our full-service platform, new business leads developed through TPG's extensive worldwide relationships, expert insight on the international marketplace, and a myriad of other ways." the managing partners said in a collective statement. – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers