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Global investment firm buys Superstruct for €1.3bn

New York-based KKR has bought the festival giant - the world's second largest festival promoter - from Providence

By James Hanley on 21 Jun 2024

Superstruct's Parookaville

Superstruct's Parookaville


American global investment firm KKR has acquired festival giant Superstruct Entertainment from Providence in a €1.3 billion deal.

Superstruct was founded in 2017 by Creamfields founder and former Live Nation president of electronic music James Barton and Roderik Schlosser while at Providence. The company owns and operates more than 80 music festivals across 10 countries in Europe and Australia, and generates annual revenue of more than €100 million.

Its network includes Elrow (ES), Sziget (HU), Wacken Open Air (DE), Mysteryland (NL), Hideout (HR), Sonar (ES), Flow (FI), Øya (NO), Parookaville (DE), Wacken Open Air (DE) and Tinderbox (DK), while its UK interests include Y Not, Truck, Nass, Bluedot, Victorious, South West Four, Kendal Calling, Tramlines, Boardmasters and Lost Ventures – many of which were acquired when Global’s portfolio was divvied up in April 2019.

Last year, it bought majority stakes in London-based festivals Mighty Hoopla and Cross the Tracks, as well as Austria’s Snowbombing, and also acquired The Music Republic, promoter of iconic Spanish festivals Arenal Sound and Benicàssim (FIB).

“We are delighted to partner with Roderik Schlösser, James Barton and the team at Superstruct who have established themselves as a leader in delivering unparalleled live music experiences globally,” says Philipp Freise, partner and co-head of European private equity and Franziska Kayser, partner at New York-based KKR, whose existing interests include global music company BMG.

“With a robust foundation as a top-tier live entertainment platform, we see significant growth opportunities ahead for Superstruct”

“With a robust foundation as a top-tier live entertainment platform, we see significant growth opportunities ahead for Superstruct. Drawing on our strong partnership approach and experience in the digital entertainment and ticketing space, such as BMG, ProSiebenSat1, GetYourGuide, and Trainline, as well as KKR’s global resources and extensive network, we will support the company and its entrepreneurial team to bring their compelling portfolio of live event formats to a wider audience and drive further growth.”

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the Financial Times reports it as €1.3bn, citing people familiar with the matter. Providence has an option to invest €250m into Superstruct as part of the transaction.

“The founding vision for Superstruct was to create a natural home for successful entrepreneurs, creative visionaries, and business-minded professionals in live entertainment,” say Schlösser and Barton. “We wanted to create a network of influence setting the standards for live experiences. Through our development, we are a leader in the professionalization of this industry, enabling our dedicated teams to excel in a collaborative and inspiring environment and create and deliver best-in-class events for millions of fans.

“We are proud to have secured the backing of KKR, whose expertise and network will strengthen our ability to scale and innovate in the vibrant experiential economy. We would like to thank Andrew Tisdale, Daniel Zwicky and the team at Providence for their outstanding support. Their belief in Superstruct has been fundamental to our success.”

KKR says it will “support Superstruct in its next phase of development”, noting that it is “one of the key players in a highly fragmented sector that continues to grow, expand and professionalise”. It also pledges to preserve “the creative and cultural DNA of the company”.

“We are confident that with KKR’s support, Superstruct will continue to thrive”

A formal auction process for the live behemoth – the second-largest festival promoter in the world after Live Nationreportedly took place last month. A report by Reuters in April named Blackstone and CVC as potential bidders, with KKR, Advance Publications and EQT listed as interested parties.

Providence was said to be working alongside banks Liontree and HSBC to gauge interest after planning the sale last summer.

“We are incredibly proud of the rapid growth and success Superstruct has achieved since its inception,” adds Andrew Tisdale, senior MD, and Daniel Zwicky, director, at Providence Equity Partners. “With Providence’s backing, Superstruct has become a truly exceptional live entertainment company. In particular, we believe the company’s resilience and emergence from the global pandemic as a stronger business is testament to the entrepreneurial spirit of Roderik Schlösser, James Barton and the impressive management team.

“We are confident that with KKR’s support, Superstruct will continue to thrive.”

 


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