Creative Artists Agency has acquired full ownership of the business of CAA-GBG Global Brand Management Group, one of the world’s leading brand management agencies.
Prior to the transaction, it was operated through a joint venture formed in 2016 between CAA and Global Brands Group.
Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
CAA’s newly named CAA Brand Management division will immediately be integrated into the day-to-day operations of the agency.
CAA Brand Management Group, which employs more than 160 people, is co-led by Perry Wolfman and Noah Gelbart. It has offices spanning 17 countries, including the U.S., U.K., China, India, Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, Germany, Spain, Italy, Australia, Brazil and Mexico, among others.
As reported, In November, Hong Kong-based Global Brands Group shut down its operation after a court order. The previous July, GBG’s North American arm filed Chapter 11 in New York and sought to sell its assets, which included the disposition of brands such as Aquitalia, Ely & Walker and Sean John.
In 2016, WWD reported that Global Brands, a spinoff of sourcing giant Li & Fung, took a 72.7 percent stake in the CAA-GBG venture via its wholly owned U.K. subsidiary while CAA Brand Management controlled the remaining 27.3 percent of the venture.
“The bankruptcy [of GBG] was what enabled us to bring back the brand management business to CAA,” said Wolfman. “We had wanted to do it in the past and this is what gave us the opportunity to do this.”
CAA Brand Management is currently managing programs for brands including Budweiser, Coca-Cola, The Cheesecake Factory, Formula One, Jaguar Land Rover, the Bob Marley Estate, Minecraft, Netflix, Playboy, Red Bull Racing, Riot Games and Skechers, among others.
“CAA Brand Management is a best-in-class service offering, with a global footprint and impactful capabilities and expertise in the brand extension space,” said Jim Burton, president, CAA.
“Our clients are always looking for new and innovative ways to engage with audiences, be it though their stories, their passions and priorities, or their values and beliefs,” said Kevin Huvane, co-chairman, CAA. “This talented group of executives has built award-winning branded programs, and we are excited to bring their expertise in-house.”
Wolfman and Gelbart said that by integrating CAA Brand Management into the day-to-day operations of the agency, it will provide them with access to CAA’s resources and relationships, which will amplify their efforts globally. They will be able to leverage the synergies within both their buildings. Gelbart said CAA has “the most amazing talent and brands” that are looking to exploit these consumer partnerships.
Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, Macfarlanes LLP and White & Case LLP served as legal advisers to CAA.
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