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DEAG/Kili acquires majority stake in Flying Music

DEAG has delivered on its plans to buy another UK promoter, securing a 60% stake in Flying Music Group through Kili

By Jon Chapple on 18 Aug 2017

Thriller Live, Flying Music Group

image © Flying Music Group

Deutsche Entertainment AG (DEAG) has, through its UK subsidiary Kilimanjaro Live, acquired 60% of Flying Music Group, a British promoter of concerts and stage shows.

The deal, valued at £5 million, sees DEAG chairman Peter Schwenkow achieve his ambition of acquiring another British-based promoter, first hinted at last August when he said the company was exploring “opportunistic acquisition opportunities” following better-than-expected growth in the UK.

According to DEAG, Flying Music – whose current shows include Thriller Live (pictured), The Toxic Avenger: The Musical, The Kite Runner and musicians John Mayall, Joe Brown and Midge Ure – turned over around €20m last year and has “been profitable since its inception”. Following the acquisition, DEAG expects its UK revenues to top €100m in 2018.

The Berlin-based company says it may consider increasing its share in Flying Music “depending on its future business development”.

“These are exciting times for DEAG and Kilimanjaro,” says Kili CEO Stuart Galbraith. “Our core business of live music is continuously growing. We are expecting to have another record year in 2018 with more than two million tickets sold in the UK.

“We’re excited to be entering into a new chapter with the combined international strength of Kilimanjaro Live and DEAG behind us”

“We have also been able to achieve the growth of the last three years by diversifying our business model beyond live music into projects such as The Illusionists, Tape Face and Dinosaurs in the Wild. The Flying Music Group deal is another important step in our expansion into West End touring musicals and theatre. The huge experience of Paul [Walden] and Derek [Nicol] and the Flying Music Group makes it a strong, complimentary partner. We’re looking forward to working together with DEAG to continue the Flying Music Group’s growth in the UK and worldwide.”

The theatrical and family entertainment markets are currently a major focus for DEAG, whose Q1 2017 financial results – which followed the cancellation of several festivals and a rebuke by German financial watchdog FREP for “overstating” its financial success – showed a drop in revenue and profits. Its half-year results are due at the end of August.

In a joint statement, Flying Music co-CEOs Walden and Nichol say: “As an independent promoter, this is an exciting development for the Flying Music Group. As our company continues to grow, we’re excited to be entering into a new chapter with the combined international strength of Kilimanjaro Live and DEAG behind us. We have known and admired Stuart and his team for many years and are looking forward to working together in the future.”

DEAG acquired Gold Entertainment, a German promoter of schlager (crooner) shows, in February.


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