Hollywood Casting Software Firm Talent Systems Sold to Private Equity Group

·2 min read

Private equity is keeping its investment in all aspects of Hollywood going even amid a broader market downturn.

On Tuesday, RedBird Capital Group, led by founder Gerry Cardinale, and StepStone Group unveiled a deal to acquire Talent Systems, a company that specializes in software and technology tied to the casting and auditioning process for Hollywood productions.

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The company, led by co-CEOs Rafi Gordon and Alex Amin, managed over 50,000 projects and 2 million auditions in 2021, spanning films, TV series, commercials, theater and digital productions.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, though the company’s leadership team and another of its investors, Caltius Equity Partners, will remain minority shareholders.

“With Talent Systems, Rafi and Alex have created a platform that offers efficiencies to a media and entertainment ecosystem managing a massive increase in supply and demand of content creation,” RedBird partner Andy Gordon said in a statement. “Drawing on RedBird’s investment experience and relationships in the industry, together we have an opportunity to continue to scale their business when it is needed most.”

RedBird has been active the media and entertainment space in recent years. In 2020 (just before the pandemic hit) it acquired a stake in David Ellison’s Skydance, and later that year it partnered with Dwayne Johnson and Dany Garcia to buy the remnants of the XFL (the football league will relaunch in 2023, with Disney as its TV partner), last year, it partnered with Epic Games and Nike to buy a minority stake in SpringHill, the entertainment company founded by LeBron James and Maverick Carter.

Talent Systems is not a content player like Skydance or SpringHill, but it is a major technology provider to Hollywood, and the market leader in a space (casting and auditions) that is vital to every part of the entertainment business.

RedBird is one of many private equity firms looking to invest in Hollywood. Just this week the Swedish firm EQT unveiled an investment in talent agency UTA, and earlier in July, Apollo and Providence Equity Partners helped finance The North Road Company, a content rollup led by Peter Chernin.

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