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February 2019

CG Petsky Prunier advises Backstage on its investment from Ridgemont Equity Partners

CG Petsky Prunier is pleased to announce it has advised Backstage, the global platform that enables productions, brands, marketing agencies, and businesses to discover and work with highly skilled creative talent, on its investment from Ridgemont Equity Partners.

Backstage operates one of the broadest and most liquid job marketplaces for an expansive set of performing arts talent and content creators. The company’s mission is to enable career opportunities and economic success for its members by building proprietary tools shaped by today’s production processes. The Backstage technology platform uniquely serves the needs of the fast-growing universe of talent and content creators, which has been driven by the democratization and proliferation of content creation. Content creators demand tools that streamline and increase the quality of their talent identification and selection processes. To support, educate, and inform artists, Backstage and its advisor network publish advice, educational content, and news on a daily basis.

Backstage was founded in 1960 as one of the premier trade publications for the theater industry and has been transformed by its current leadership, since being spun out of its former parent company in 2012. Today, the Backstage platform delivers efficiency to both sides of the marketplace and supports the large market of talent and creators, which has resulted in significant growth and an ever increasing and diverse value proposition to both creative talent and content creators. With three million people visiting the platform every month, 50,000 content creators posting opportunities during the last year, and a rapidly growing subscriber base, the company is committed to serving as the preeminent source for information, professional development opportunities, and community engagement for talent, as well as a valuable, efficient, and cost-effective tool for content creators of all types.

Josh Ellstein, CEO of Backstage, and Mike Felman, CFO, will continue to lead the company. Backstage is headquartered in Brooklyn, New York and currently operates across the United States, Europe, Australia, and Canada.

Ridgemont Equity Partners is a Charlotte, North Carolina-based middle market buyout and growth equity investor. Since 1993, the principals of Ridgemont have invested approximately $4.4 billion. The firm focuses on equity investments up to $250 million in industries in which it has deep expertise, including business and industrial services, energy, healthcare, and technology and telecommunications.

James Yaffe, an experienced digital media executive, and Cannondale Capital Investors, the family office vehicle of Joe Ripp and Dan Ripp, participated in the transaction alongside Ridgemont and will serve on the company’s board. Peter Rappaport, Backstage’s former executive chairman, also participated in the transaction and will continue to serve the company as strategic advisor and as a director on the board.

CG Petsky Prunier, with a team led by Sanjay Chadda, Matthew Kratter, and Christopher Heasman, served as the exclusive financial advisor to Backstage.


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