Film and TV Production Payroll Company Cast & Crew Bought by Investment Firm

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EQT invests worldwide and its involvement is, in part, designed to help the firm expand more rapidly in Europe and Asia.

Cast & Crew said Monday it has been acquired for the second time in less than four years, this time by the EQT VII fund, which has paid an undisclosed amount to buy the payroll firm from Silver Lake, which purchased it in June 2015 for $700 million.

Cast & Crew, founded in 1976 and based in Burbank, is well known in entertainment circles since it issues payroll to those who work in the production of movies, TV shows and live events, and its software is used for accounting while its financial services are used in determining tax benefits for shooting locations and the like.

EQT invests worldwide and its involvement with Cast & Crew is, in part, designed to help the payroll firm expand more rapidly in Europe and Asia.

“This is an important transaction for EQT’s large buyout business, as it represents our first transaction in the U.S. in the [technology, media and telecommunications] and services sectors," said Morten Hummelmose, chairman of EQT Partners and head of EQT Equity U.S. 

"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," he added.

EQT is an investment firm that has raised about $57 billion across 28 funds and its portfolio companies boast annual revenue of about $22 billion and they employ about 110,000 people.

Eric Belcher and John Berkley, Cast & Crew's CEO and president, respectively, are expected to remain in their roles. When Silver Lake purchased the company more than three years ago, it employed roughly 350 people; the number has about doubled since then. Cast & Crew's major competition comes from Entertainment Partners, an employee-owned company.

"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," Belcher said.