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PE-backed Nordic powerhouse All Things Live launches

Private-equity firm Waterland has rolled ICO, Friction, Atomic Soul, Blixten & Co and Maloney Concerts into a new pan-Scandinavian company, set to sell 1m+ tickets a year

By Jon Chapple on 12 Dec 2018

ICO promoted Katy Perry's Witness tour in Denmark

ICO promoted Katy Perry's Witness tour in Denmark


image © ICO Concerts

Waterland Private Equity, a Netherlands-based multinational investment firm, has acquired six leading Scandinavian promoters and agencies, bringing them together under a new company described as “the new independent market leader in Nordic live entertainment”.

All Things Live – comprising ICO Concerts and ICO Management and Touring (Denmark), Friction and Atomic Soul Booking (Norway) and Blixten & Co and Maloney Concerts (Sweden) – has a combined annual revenue of €85 million and around 70 employees across the three countries, according to Waterland, which is the majority shareholder.

In total, All Things Live will represent 140 Nordic artists on exclusive contracts and promote almost 3,000 local and international events, selling more than a million tickets a year.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, although the companies say in a joint statement the acquisition will “not entail changes for customers, partners, day-to-day management or employees”.

“Together with our great Norwegian and Swedish colleagues, we have created a series of memorable live experiences in recent years, and we are excited to join forces in All Things Live to strengthen our collaboration with a view to providing an even better offering to artists and fans across the Nordics,” says Pernille Møller Pedersen, co-owner of ICO Concerts/Management and Touring.

“We look forward to leveraging Waterland’s experience from other growth cases”

Fellow co-owner Kim Worsøe adds: “Waterland has played a key role in the formation of this collaboration, and we look forward to leveraging their experience from other growth cases and capturing the opportunities in our markets in the coming years.”

Waterland – which has offices in Bussum (Netherlands), Antwerp, Hamburg, Munich, Warsaw, Manchester, Zurich and Copenhagen – has a broad range of investments across the energy, healthcare, leisure and gambling sectors, among others.

It is the latest deep-pocked private-equity firm to buy into the live entertainment industry, joining investors including the Blackstone Group (NEC Group), Onex Corporation (SMG), Providence Equity Partners (Superstruct Entertainment), the Yucaipa Companies (Primavera Sound) and Investcorp (United Talent Agency).

“We look forward to intensifying the collaboration among these great companies and strengthening our financial capabilities as part of the new partnership, which will drive value for audiences and artists on the Nordic scene,” comments David Maloney, founder of Maloney Concerts.

“We see an exciting future ahead of us in this strong partnership, which will be key player on the Nordic live entertainment scene going forward,” adds Mark Vaughan, the co-owner of Friction.

“We see great prospects in these entrepreneurial companies”

“Our dedicated employees will maintain their attention to detail and continue to attract local acts and international shows as part of the new set-up.”

Peer Osmundsvaag, founder of Friction and Atomic Soul Booking, comments: “This is a natural next step for our businesses, as we have always had a shared vision of creating great events based on our independence and deep local expertise. In All Things Live, we will be able to build significant scale, reach more people and attract more great artists going forward.”

Kaspar Kristiansen, managing director of Waterland Nordic, says the creation of All Things Live marks an expansion of its business in the region. “This investment in these six companies is our second in the Nordic region after our office opening in Copenhagen in 2017, underlining our focus on expanding Waterland’s activities in the region,” he explains.

“We see great prospects in these entrepreneurial companies, their management teams and employees as well as in the attractive live entertainment market.

“We are entering into this partnership, and the formation of All Things Live, to drive organic growth and further consolidation of the industry, and we will contribute to the development of the business with our strategic toolbox and extensive practical experience.”

 


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