EQT has agreed to acquire Burbank, California-based Cast & Crew Entertainment Services, a technology provider of software and services for the entertainment production industry. The seller is Silver Lake. No financial terms were disclosed. Goldman Sachs, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP and Aon advised EQT on the transaction while Moelis & Company LLC and Morgan Stanley were lead financial advisers to Cast & Crew.
The EQT VIII fund (“EQT” or “EQT VIII”) today announced that it has agreed to acquire Cast & Crew Entertainment Services (the “Company”), a leading technology provider of software and services to the entertainment production industry, from global technology investing leader Silver Lake.
Founded in 1976 and based in Burbank, California, Cast & Crew provides solutions that simplify and automate complex processes for companies and productions in the entertainment industry. Its software products and services assist in the areas of payroll & human resources, accounting & financial and workflow & productivity. The Company has a 40-year track record of supporting its customers’ creative pursuits. Cast & Crew’s software products and services have supported the production of some of the highest-grossing films and music tours of all time, Emmy award-winning television and digital streaming programs, commercials for many of the most well-known brands, Tony award-winning Broadway shows, major sports and live event venues and many of the most highly attended music festivals.
EQT will support Cast & Crew in its next phase of development as the Company focuses on accelerating product and service expansion in current and new verticals, while continuing to provide best-in-class service to its customers. Moreover, EQT will leverage its local European presence and extensive Industrial Advisor Network to accelerate the Company’s international expansion, initially focused in Europe.
Kasper Knokgaard, Partner at EQT Partners, Investment Advisor to EQT VIII comments: “We have been very impressed with the Company’s performance and vision for continued transformation in the entertainment industry. We are delighted to have the opportunity to help shape the next phase of growth for Cast & Crew, together with an exceptionally talented group of people being led by CEO Eric Belcher and President John Berkley — supported by an outstanding executive management team. Cast & Crew will be able to leverage the entire EQT platform, including our deep sector expertise and network of Industrial Advisors, to capitalize on the growth opportunities in current and untapped market segments.”
Eric Belcher, CEO of Cast & Crew, continues: “We are all proud of what Cast & Crew has achieved in recent years under Silver Lake’s stewardship as our majority shareholder. We have built a very strong foundation for the future across software products, value-added services and a very strong employee base focused on customer service and success. We are delighted to partner with EQT and leverage its international presence and deep sector expertise within media, technology and services as we move through the next phase of our continued growth.”
Joe Osnoss and Lee Wittlinger, Managing Directors at Silver Lake, add: ”We thank Cast & Crew’s outstanding management team and employees for their partnership during a period characterized by impressive growth, accelerating technology innovation and expansion into new entertainment end markets. We hope and expect that the company will achieve continued success under EQT’s ownership.”
Morten Hummelmose, Chairman of EQT Partners Inc. and Head of EQT Equity U.S., concludes:
“This is an important transaction for EQT’s large buyout business, as it represents our first transaction in the U.S. in the TMT and Services sectors. EQT has a long and successful track record of developing technology companies, and we are confident this will be a great partnership that will benefit Cast & Crew and all of its stakeholders.”
The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions.
Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC., Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP and Aon served as advisors to EQT VIII. Moelis & Company LLC and Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC served as lead financial advisors to Cast & Crew. Cast & Crew was also advised by J.P. Morgan. Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP acted as legal advisor.
EQT is a leading investment firm with approximately EUR 50 billion in raised capital across 28 funds. EQT funds have portfolio companies in Europe, Asia and the US with total sales of more than EUR 19 billion and approximately 110,000 employees. EQT works with portfolio companies to achieve sustainable growth, operational excellence and market leadership.
More info: www.eqtpartners.com
About Cast & Crew
Cast & Crew provides payroll and human resources, accounting and financial, and workflow and productivity software and services to the entertainment industry. Cast & Crew’s services include payroll processing, residuals processing, workers’ compensation services, labor relations, and production incentives management and financing. Cast & Crew’s PSL production accounting software serves the needs of the film, television and digital media industries. The company was founded in 1976, and its corporate headquarters are in Burbank, California.
More info: www.castandcrew.com
About Silver Lake
Silver Lake is the global leader in technology investing, with about $45.5 billion in combined assets under management and committed capital and a team of approximately 100 investment and value creation professionals located in Silicon Valley, New York, London, and Hong Kong. Silver Lake’s portfolio of investments collectively generates more than $225 billion of revenue annually and employs more than 390,000 people globally.
More info: www.silverlake.com