If you thought filming a major movie or television show was time-intensive and complex, try accounting for the myriad of variables that factor into properly processing the pay checks to the Cast & Crew members of these productions.
In 2006, ABRY acquired Cast & Crew, a leading provider of payroll information and outsourcing services to the major studios serving the motion picture and television industry. The Company employs over 100,000 Cast & Crew and dispenses over 1,000,000 checks annually. Cast & Crew's clients include 6 of the top 8 studios in the United States, including Warner Brothers, 20th Century Fox, Disney, Universal, Sony, New Line Cinema and others.
In February of 2006, we received a call from Ed Spiegel, the CEO of Cast & Crew. Ed knew that ABRY understood the complexities of his niche business through its ownership of Talent Partners, an ABRY portfolio company providing outsourced payroll services to the top advertising agencies. He presented us with the opportunity to purchase shares of his retiring partners. Recognizing the industry expertise and financial sophistication we could bring to bear to this closely held business, we moved quickly to consummate the investment.
For 30 years, Cast & Crew has provided payroll processing services and highly specialized production accounting software to major studios. By serving as the "employer of record" for the talent and crew working on movie and production sets, Cast & Crew alleviates the burden of its clients having to perform the arduous and time consuming functions of calculating gross pay, withholdings, employee deductions, payroll taxes, contributions to union and guild pensions, and health and welfare contributions, all of which vary widely depending on the state of production, union and pension funds, and a host of other complex factors. As part of its service, Cast & Crew equips the production accountant responsible for managing the finances of the movie or television production with its highly developed production accounting software, allowing him or her to accurately and efficiently manage all financial aspects of the movie or television production.
Post-investment, ABRY has worked with management to significantly improve the Company’s operating and financial processes thereby positioning the Company to expand its market share and increase its cash flow growth.