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Private Equity

Investors Eager to Enter Limelight of Postproduction

Published: June 9th, 2022
The world of postproduction services is consolidating amid a boom in streaming budgets, and private equity firms are keen to get in on the action.

While Netflix Inc. (NFLX) has long been the star of the streaming world, the company’s first quarterly subscriber losses in a decade underscore the risks in competing against the largest media companies in the world.

But as the streaming wars wage on and new players come and go (see the recent demise of CNN+), the demand for original content distributed around the globe has shown no signs of slowing down. Amid the steady rise in the demand for content, private equity, eager to put money to work but hesitant to invest directly into content creators, is deploying a different strategy in the battle for over-the-top profits.

Firms of all shapes and sizes continue to invest in video postproduction, visual effects, dubbing, subtitles, distribution technology and other services that the likes of Netflix, Walt Disney Co. (DIS), Warner Bros Discovery Inc. (WBD) and others need to keep the hits coming.

The interest is driving up valuations and chatter among industry players about some of the companies that might come to market as either buyers or sellers.

“It’s a sector that is, frankly, perfect hunting ground for private equity,” Houlihan Lokey Inc.’s Roy Kabla told The Deal regarding production services.

Investors such as Altor Equity Partners AB, Shamrock Capital Advisors LLC, Platinum Equity Advisors LLC, Mayfair Equity Partners LLP and EagleTree Capital LP are already invested in the industry. Meanwhile, larger PE firms are on the lookout for deals with scale to use as platforms to further consolidate the production and postproduction services industry.

So far, “it’s been a case of middle-market investors taking a lead,” Kabla said. “The challenge for the large private equity firms is finding opportunities that are big enough.”

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