Hollywood payroll company Cast & Crew up for sale -sources

Thu Feb 26, 2015 11:36am EST
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By Liana B. Baker

Feb 26 (Reuters) - Cast & Crew Entertainment Services LLC, a private equity-owned company that helps make sure that everyone in Hollywood movie and television crews, from actors to cameramen, gets paid, is exploring a sale, according to people familiar with the matter.

Burbank, California-based Cast & Crew is working with investment banks Moelis & Co and Morgan Stanley on an auction of the company, the people said this week, asking not to be named because the matter is not public.

The company has annual earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization of more than $50 million, and could be valued at more than 10 times that amount, the people said.

Cast & Crew and its owner, ZelnickMedia, could not immediately be reached for comment, while representatives for Moelis and Morgan Stanley declined to comment.

Cast & Crew is hired by film and TV production companies to manage and process payrolls. Since its founding in 1976, the company has branched out to provide healthcare and financing advice to production companies. It also works with unions in Hollywood and handles the distribution of residual payments and worker compensation, according to its website.

The company helped the upcoming movie "The Cobbler," starring Adam Sandler as a New York shoe repairmen with magical powers, use New York state tax credits.

The payroll processing company was acquired in 2013 for an undisclosed sum by New York-based ZelnickMedia, the private equity firm run by entertainment executive Strauss Zelnick, who is also the chief executive of video game company Take-Two Interactive Software. Before that, it was owned by buyout firm ABRY Partners.

Other private equity firms or competitors in the payroll processing space could be interested in buying the asset, the people said. (Reporting by Liana B. Baker; editing by Gunna Dickson)