ZMC Buys The Second City
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ZMC Buys The Second City

ZMC has acquired The Second City, a provider of improvisation and sketch-based comedy entertainment and education. ZMC acquired Second City, led by President Steve Johnston, from co-owners Andrew Alexander and D’Arcy Stuart.

The Second City was founded in Chicago in 1959 and operates a wide range of in-person and digital programming, offers comedic education services, and provides professional development services to hundreds of Fortune 1000 companies.

Second City has theaters in Chicago, Toronto and Hollywood as well as numerous touring companies; and it educates writers, performers, directors and filmmakers in comedic content at its Chicago-based Harold Ramis Film School.

Famous alumni of Second City include Alan Arkin, Dan Aykroyd, John Belushi, John Candy, Steve Carell, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Chris Farley, Tina Fey, Bill Murray, Mike Myers, Gilda Radner, Harold Ramis, Martin Short and Jason Sudeikis.

“We are thrilled to work with ZMC as we continue to transform the company into an equitable and thriving environment while delivering world-class comedy to our audiences,” said Mr. Johnston. “I want to thank the talent, staff, alumni and audiences of The Second City for supporting us on our journey.”

“We are very excited to partner with management and the incredible talent at The Second City to grow the brand and build a diverse organization that elevates all voices,” said Jordan Turkewitz, the co-chief investment officer and managing partner at ZMC. “Over its sixty-year history, The Second City has been home to some of the most beloved names in comedy, and we plan on building the next generation of comedy talent by investing in people and creativity.”

New York City-headquartered ZMC (Zelnick Media Capital) was founded in 2001 by investor Strauss Zelnick – the CEO of video-game producer Take-Two Interactive (its titles include Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead Redemption) and is an active investor in the media, entertainment, and communications sectors.

In November 2019, ZMC held a final close of ZMC III LP and ZMC III Parallel LP with total capital commitments of $775 million. The new fund was substantially oversubscribed, exceeded its $650 million target, and closed at its hard cap.

Houlihan Lokey was the financial advisor to The Second City.

© 2021 Private Equity Professional | February 19, 2021

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