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AEG and Eventim ‘enter race’ to buy See Tickets

French-headquartered media giant Vivendi is reportedly seeking up to £300 million for its ticketing and festival businesses

By James Hanley on 11 Dec 2023

See Tickets Launches Digital Tickets

Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) and CTS Eventim have reportedly entered the race to acquire Vivendi-owned See Tickets.

The Financial Times reports that French-headquartered media giant Vivendi is seeking up to £300 million (€351m) for the company, which it bought for €96m in 2011, with AEG and CTS among the first round of indicative bids submitted in recent weeks.

AEG and Eventim have both declined to comment on the report, while Vivendi says it has “received at this stage several very encouraging offers regarding the possible sale of its ticketing and festival activities”.

It was first reported that Vivendi was exploring the sale of See Tickets, along with its festival division – which includes 11 festivals such as the UK’s Love Supreme and Kite, as well as Garorock in France – back in the autumn, having concluded they were not of sufficient scale to compete with the likes of Live Nation and AEG.

Vivendi announced the partial spin-off of its stake in Universal Music Group in 2021. The ticketing and festival businesses form part of its Vivendi Village subsidiary, which posted revenues of €238 million last year – up from €102m the previous year – and reported sales of €81m for the first six months of the 2023 financial year.

See Tickets is is “projected to experience high single-digit growth over the next few years”, with other suitors anticipated to join the race

AEG, which operates venues such as The O2 and Eventim Apollo in London, Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles and the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Berlin, already owns ticketing business AXS, which it co-founded 12 years ago and took full control of in 2019. AEG recently agreed to sell its stake in venue management behemoth ASM Global as part of the latter’s acquisition by Legends.

CTS, meanwhile, owns ticketing companies in 21 markets and became majority shareholder in France Billet, the largest ticketing company in France, in the summer. In its latest financial results, the firm posted ticketing revenue of €459.3m (up 36% year-on-year) for the first nine months of 2023 and is projecting group revenue in excess of €2 billion for the year as a whole.

See opened its first US base in Los Angeles in 2014 and operates more than 15 offices worldwide including in London, New York, Nashville, Paris, Amsterdam and Zurich. In 2022, the firm sold more than 39 million tickets for 8,000 clients including the UK’s Glastonbury festival, Tomorrowland in Belgium and AmericanaFest in Nashville, US, with sales expected to top 43m this year.

Its executive committee comprises five members: Rob Wilmshurst (Group CEO), Boris Patronoff (Group COO), Leanne Lipscombe (Group CFO), Marijke van den Bosch (CEO Benelux and Germany) and Laurent de Cerner (CEO France). The company is “projected to experience high single-digit growth over the next few years”, according to FT sources, with other suitors still expected to join the bidding war.


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