British panto giant arrested by private equity firm

The world’s largest pantomime company has been taken over by a private equity firm, with new owners predicting a period of expansion for the theater as people emerge from Covid lockdowns.

Crossroads Live, with the support of the American fund Raven Capital Management, acquires Qdos Pantomimes, the largest company in the panto scene. He has put on more than 750 shows in nearly 40 years in theaters across Great Britain.

David Ian, president of Crossroads Live, said the panto “fits naturally” with the company’s existing business, which includes stage productions of Chicago, Rock school, and from September, The wedding of my best friend.

Qdos is the name behind some of the biggest and most popular pantos in major venues, including the London Palladium, Birmingham Racecourse and Manchester Opera, with an average audience of two million people per year.

The UK company employs 47 full-time people and over 1,000 actors, musicians and stage managers each year.

“Live theater will be one of the industries that will recover from a pandemic,” Ian said.

Pantomime dates back to the Middle Ages and is an integral part of the calendar of a modern theater.

The London Palladium Theater has the panto as an integral part of its annual calendar. Alamy

Christmas shows feature double meanings and call-and-answer slogans, such as “He’s behind you!” And “Oh, no, he’s not!”

Mr Ian said the long-term shutdown of the live theater by Covid-19 has provided an opportunity for resource-rich companies to buy from smaller producers.

Crossroads has completed transactions in Australia and Asia over the past year.

“It was very hard. There was no theater. At best, the business was surrounded by risk, no more difficult than in the past 12-18 months, and it will continue. “

Nick Thomas, who founded the company in 1982 and expanded it from a local theater to a West End power station, will step down under the deal.

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