Cast & Crew Acquires Final Draft
February 2, 2016
Adds Leading Screenwriting Software to Expanding Suite of Technology Solutions
BURBANK, CA – Cast & Crew Entertainment Services, the premier provider of technology-enabled payroll and production-management services to the entertainment industry, today announced the acquisition of Final Draft, Inc., whose screenwriting software is the undisputed industry standard and clear market leader worldwide. With this transaction, Cast & Crew not only underlines its commitment to deliver industry-leading technology solutions, but also broadens its participation across the full entertainment production lifecycle.
A trusted partner to major and independent film and television studios, Cast & Crew provides its clients with a robust portfolio of critical services. These include payroll and residuals processing, the industry-leading PSL production accounting system and other software, as well as financial services such as production incentive consulting, administration and financing. The company, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, continues to accelerate its investment in technology, supported by majority shareholder Silver Lake Partners, the global leader in technology investing, which acquired Cast & Crew in mid-2015.
“With a clear strategic vision, and the active input of our clients, we are leveraging technology to create compelling end-to-end solutions,” said Eric Belcher, President and Chief Executive Officer of Cast & Crew. “We are delighted to partner with the best screenwriting software company in the business. We see powerful links between this exceptional product family and the digital payroll and production solutions we are providing. It all starts with the script.”
Marc Madnick, Chief Executive Officer, Chairman and Co-Founder of Final Draft, noted that the company’s success has always been contingent on a clear understanding of the needs of its customers. “We are thrilled in our 25th anniversary year to join forces with Cast & Crew Entertainment Services to benefit from its expertise, technology and resources, which will allow us to provide an even better software and customer experience for professional and aspiring screenwriters and filmmakers,” he said. “Together, we will accelerate our development process and further solidify our industry leadership for many years to come. This is a great time to be a Final Draft customer as we focus on collaborating with Cast & Crew to deliver innovative solutions for every part of the screenwriting process and beyond.”
Final Draft’s current product offerings, which include screenwriting software available for Mac and PC computers along with iOS apps for iPhone and iPad mobile platforms, are designed both for professional and educational use. The company also conducts the Big Break Contest, an annual, global screenwriting contest dedicated to launching the careers of aspiring writers. Cast & Crew and Final Draft will officially launch their partnership at the 11th Annual Final Draft Awards on February 11.
Mr. Belcher said Final Draft will continue to operate under its current name and with its current senior team led by Mr. Madnick and Scott McMenamin, the company’s President. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Cast & Crew was advised by Kirkland & Ellis LLP. Final Draft was represented by investment bank MediaBridge Capital Advisors.
About Cast & Crew
Cast & Crew Entertainment Services, LLC (www.castandcrew.com) is the premier provider of technology-enabled payroll and production-management services to the entertainment industry. Cast & Crew’s services include payroll processing, residuals processing, workers’ compensation services, labor relations, production incentives and production tax credit financing. Cast & Crew’s PSL production accounting software is the industry-leading accounting application serving the needs of the film, television and digital media industries. The company was founded in 1976, and its corporate headquarters are in Burbank, California.
About Final Draft, Inc.
For the past 25 years, the name Final Draft has been synonymous with Hollywood. More than just a writing tool, it has been an invaluable partner in the success of industry giants like J.J. Abrams, Aaron Sorkin, Matthew Weiner, Callie Khouri and James Cameron, to name a few. Referenced in movies and thanked in acceptance speeches, it is the number-one selling screenwriting application in the world, and the industry standard used by studios and production companies all over the globe. The company continues to innovate with the recently launched Reader® and Writer® apps for iPhone and iPad, which make creativity truly portable. In addition to its flagship software product, Final Draft, Inc. offers other services for writers, including its Big Break Contest, a career-launching screenwriting competition with significant prizes. For its incomparable contributions to the industry, Final Draft was awarded the prestigious Primetime Emmy Engineering Award in 2013. To learn more about Final Draft, Inc. and its products and services, visit: www.finaldraft.com.
About Silver Lake
Silver Lake is the global leader in technology investing, with over $26 billion in combined assets under management and committed capital. The firm’s portfolio of investments collectively generates more than $85 billion of revenue annually and employs more than 200,000 people globally. Silver Lake has a team of approximately 100 investment and value creation professionals located in Menlo Park, New York, San Mateo, London, Hong Kong and Tokyo. The firm’s current portfolio includes leading technology and technology-enabled businesses such as Alibaba Group, Avago, Avaya, Ctrip, Dell, Fanatics, Global Blue, Go Daddy, Intelsat, Motorola Solutions, Quorum Business Solutions, Red Ventures, Sabre, SMART Modular, Vantage Data Centers, Virtu Financial and WME/IMG. For more information about Silver Lake and its entire portfolio, please visit www.silverlake.com.
MediaBridge Capital Advisors, LLC is a leading industry-focused investment bank offering M&A and corporate finance advisory services for technology providers in the digital media sector. MediaBridge focuses on five primary market segments — video, audio, broadcast, cinema and digital media. Please visit www.mediabridgecap.com.