Hollywood’s Equity Dispute Heats Up After CAA’s $7B Sale

A brewing storm is sweeping through Hollywood as the fallout from the sale of Creative Artists Agency (CAA) to François-Henri Pinault, the French luxury magnate. The sale was made for a whopping $7 billion valuation that continues to unfold.

While the top brass at CAA, including co-chairs Bryan Lourd, Kevin Huvane, and Richard Lovett, along with influential agents like Maha Dakhil, who represents Salma Hayek, are reportedly poised for hefty paydays, discontent is rife among the agency’s current and former staff.

The bone of contention? Equity payouts.

According to a Financial Times report, CAA’s top echelons are set to rake in over $200 million, which has understandably raised eyebrows lower down the totem pole. Confidential sources have revealed that many staffers are disgruntled over internal discussions that suggest they might only cash out a meager 10 to 15 percent of their equity, with the remainder being rolled into the new entity.

Hollywood's Equity Dispute Heats Up After CAA's $7B Sale

The situation is rapidly deteriorating. One former CAA executive shared their perspective, stating, “People are extremely mad. This is equity you’ve earned.” Though the final decision on payouts remains pending, individuals holding equity are contemplating legal action.

One equity holder, who previously accepted a salary reduction in exchange for equity, expressed their frustration: “We made them all this money, and they are faking that they care on the picket lines, protesting the greed of the studio bosses, and meantime they are taking people’s prime earning years and now we can’t monetize our equity.”

Meetings between CAA’s top agents and former employees are scheduled for this week, with the hope of receiving more details about the equity plan within the next couple of weeks. For now, a spokesperson for CAA has declined to comment on the matter.

The news regarding the deal came out soon after media mogul Byron Allen made a billion-dollar offer for ABC. With news of Bob Iger selling Disney to Apple, we are seeing some major changes in the streaming landscape.

As the dust settles, it’s clear that the aftermath of this mega-deal is generating not just significant fortunes but also significant friction within the CAA family. Hollywood, it seems, has a new fight on its hands, and it’s shaping up to be quite the spectacle.

Joanne Wells

Joanne Wells is a media journalist for ScreenNearYou. She reports on the inside conversations in Hollywood. Also, she loves pizza!

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