Updated: AEG buys out AXS co-owners to take full ownership
Live entertainment powerhouse AEG has taken full control of its ticketing business AXS from co-owners TPG Capital and Rockbridge Growth Equity, as first reported by Billboard.
AEG, a founding partner in the ticketing platform, previously held a 38% stake with private-equity firms TPG Capital – the majority owner of Creative Artists Agency and owner of Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group – and Dan Gilbert’s Rockbridge Growth Equity together holding the remaining 62%.
AEG established AXS in partnership with Outbox Technologies in 2011, following the merger between Ticketmaster and Live Nation a year earlier.
In 2015, AXS merged with ticketing company Veritix, owned by Rockbridge’s Gilbert.
In 2018, the Wall Street Journal reported that TPG and Rockbridge were exploring options to sell their stake in AXS. It was believed the stake could go for as much as US$250 million.
The purchase comes after months of negotiations, with bids by CTS Eventim and ticketing startup Rival falling through. LionTree Advisors acted as financial advisor to Cirque Du Soleil, Outbox Holdings and Flash Seats in connection with the transaction.
“In just over eight years, AXS now sells nearly 50 million tickets annually around the world and this acquisition positions both AEG and AXS for continued growth,” says Dan Beckerman, president and chief executive of AEG.
“As a team owner, music promoter and venue owner/operator, ticketing is core to AEG’s business and this transaction allows us to more closely align our global asset portfolio,” adds Beckerman.
“AEG’s significant investment is a clear endorsement of our business strategy, technical expertise and growth potential”
“As an AXS client, we are focused on delivering innovation and product development that enhances the fan experience and creates opportunities to integrate data and generate new revenue streams for all AXS clients.”
Bryan Perez, chief executive of AXS comments that the transaction will allow the ticketing company “to further expand our footprint and product offerings.”
“AEG’s significant investment is a clear endorsement of our business strategy, technical expertise and growth potential,” continues Perez.
“Since 2011, our mission has been to transform the ticketing industry through innovative products, delivering the right ticket to the right fan and the right price and this transaction provides us the opportunity to accelerate that vision globally.”
AXS provides ticketing services to over 167 professional sports teams around the world and over 300 venues. The company is the official ticketing partner for venues including London’s O2 Arena (20,000-cap.) and SSE Arena, Wembley (12,500-cap.), the Los Angeles Staples Center (21,000-cap.), New York’s PlayStation Theatre (2,100-cap.) and the Target Centre in Minneapolis (19,356-cap.).
AXS also recently expanded into Japan, where it is a joint venture partner with Yahoo Japan Corporation and Avex Entertainment in Passrevo, the ticketing entity behind Yahoo! Tickets.
For a comprehensive review of the state of the global ticketing industry, with in-depth explorations of recent consolidation in the sector, new ticketing tech and individual country markets, read IQ’s International Ticketing Yearbook 2019, available here.