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Eventim to acquire stake in market-leading France Billet

CTS Eventim is seeking to significantly increase its presence in France with the acquisition of a stake, initially 48%, in Fnac Darty's France Billet

By Jon Chapple on 24 Jul 2019

SMA, Prodiss criticise France Billet over refund policy

Fnac is France's largest electronics retailer

image © Fnac Portugal

CTS Eventim has announced plans to acquire a stake in France Billet, by far France’s leading primary ticket agency, in a major expansion of its activities in the €800 million French live music market.

Bremen-based CTS Eventim, Europe’s largest ticket seller, says it is in “exclusive negotiations” with the Fnac Darty group, which owns France Billet, to establish a French joint venture, expected to be up and running by the end of 2019. Under the proposed strategic partnership, Eventim would acquire 48% of France Billet, with an option to increase its holding to a majority stake four years later.

The joint venture will continue to do business as France Billet, as will Fnac Darty’s other ticketing brands, Fnac Spectacles and BilletReduc, and CTS Eventim’s

“By partnering with Fnac Darty, we seek to create a company that offers its customers attractive services, a powerful platform and a wide range of offerings,” says CTS Eventim CEO Klaus-Peter Schulenberg.

“At the same time, we intend to use this investment to significantly strengthen our market position in an economically attractive and culturally diverse market. I look forward to our further discussions with Fnac Darty.”

According to the International Ticketing Yearbook 2018, in addition to powering market leader Fnac Spectacles, France Billet offers white-label ticketing services to supermarket giant Carrefour and ecommerce site Veepee (formerly Vente-Privee), giving it a total market share of around 45% (compared to 25% for Ticketmaster and 4% for Vivendi’s DigiTick).

“We intend to use this investment to significantly strengthen our market position in an economically attractive and culturally diverse market”

By value of ticket sales, PwC estimates the French live music market was worth US$875m (€785m) in 2018.

Commenting on the proposed partnership, Enrique Martinez, CEO of Fnac Darty, says: “We are very pleased with this project with CTS Eventim, which is part of our process of implementing our Confiance+ strategic plan and rolling out our platform to partners who are experts in their field.

“In a rapidly changing market, this value-creating partnership would pave the way for new avenues of development for France Billet, now backed by two major players, and would strengthen its offer and its innovative capacities in a competitive sector.

France Billet would take advantage of the knowhow and strength of the Fnac brand and CTS Eventim’s expertise and importance.”

With turnover of nearly €7.5bn in 2018, Fnac Darty is France’s largest retailer of entertainment products, consumer electronics and household appliances. It has stores in 12 countries, and is also one of the country’s largest ecommerce businesses, with 20m unique visitors to its retail sites per month.


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