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Second City Could Be Bought By Private Equity Firm: Report

Strauss Zelnick, a New York private equity investor, is said to be nearing purchase of Second City for about $50 million, the Financial Times reported.

The Second City could soon be bought by a New York private equity firm, reports say.
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LINCOLN PARK — Chicago’s The Second City soon could acquired by a New York private equity investor.

Strauss Zelnick, founder of private equity firm ZMC, is reportedly in “advanced talks” the legendary comedy venue, located at 230 W. North Ave., according to a report from the Financial Times.

The paper cited two sources familiar with the sale and said it could go for about $50 million. The deal could close as soon as this week.

Zelnick founded ZMC in 2001 and has invested in multiple media and communications enterprises throughout his career, according to the firm’s website. Currently, he serves as CEO and board chairman for Take-Two Interactive Software, a video game publisher known for its Grand Theft Auto series.

Representatives for ZMC and The Second City did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The Second City, which was founded in 1959 and gave rise to comedians including Tina Fey, Steve Carrell, Stephen Colbert and John Belushi, was put up for sale in October, months after having to suspend its live shows due to the pandemic.

Last June, The Second City co-founder Andrew Alexander stepped down from the company after 47 years due to allegations of racism within the company. The troupe’s majority owner is D’Ary Stuart, whose father, Len Stuart, bought the company with Alexander in the ’80s.

Jake Wittich is a Report for America corps member covering Lakeview, Lincoln Park and LGBTQ communities across the city for Block Club Chicago.

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