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CTS Eventim completes See Tickets deal

CTS Eventim has completed its acquisition of Vivendi’s festival and international ticketing businesses in a €300 million deal.

The agreement includes See Tickets and a portfolio of 11 festivals including the UK’s Love Supreme and Kite, as well as Garorock in France. Vivendi concert halls including L’Olympia concert hall in Paris, plus See Tickets France and Brive Festival, are not part of the deal.

The French firm’s ticketing and festival activities acquired by CTS collectively produced €137 million in revenues in 2023. The ticketing division generated roughly €105m of that, with an EBITDA of €26m.

The UK market was responsible for the largest share of the revenues, followed by the US, while the festival business generated an additional €32m in revenues. Vivendi bought See Tickets for €96m in 2011. The UK-headquartered ticketing company, which operates in nine countries worldwide, sold around 44 million tickets in 2023.

The companies say the transaction offers new development opportunities to Vivendi’s festival portfolio and See Tickets’ international activities, while ensuring maximum continuity for all their partners. Both See Tickets and the festival business will retain their existing identities and management.

A put option agreement was signed on 2 April.

“The acquisition supports our internationalisation strategy and will also benefit artists and their managers, as we will be able to offer even more seamless services on a global scale”

“With See Tickets and its festival operations, Vivendi has established two notable players in the ticketing and live entertainment sector,” said CTS CEO Klaus-Peter Schulenberg at the time. “I’d like to thank Vivendi for the productive negotiations, which have created a strong foundation for success in an industry enjoying robust growth across Europe.

“The acquisition supports our internationalisation strategy and will also benefit artists and their managers, as we will be able to offer even more seamless services on a global scale. We look forward to collaborating with our new colleagues on shaping the future of live entertainment.”

Pan-European giant CTS’ share price currently sits at €80.45 and is up 28% for the year to-date. The German-headquartered company was among several parties to register interest in buying See Tickets, along with AEG.

In its recently published financial results for Q1 2024, CTS posted consolidated revenue of €408.7m, up 11.6% year-on-year. Ticketing revenue climbed by 23.3% year-on-year to €182.8m, while adjusted EBITDA rose by 24.9% to €83.3m. It acquired Punto Ticket and Teleticket, market leaders in Chile and Peru, respectively, in late 2023.

CTS, which recently confirmed its 18th record year of revenue since its IPO in 2000, also recently secured ticketing deals for several international handball tournaments and was appointed official ticketing service provider for the 2028 Olympics and Paralympics in partnership with AEG’s AXS.

 


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See Tickets NA unveils new leadership team

See Tickets North America has unveiled its new business development leadership team after elevating several executives.

Phil Lawrence, who brings experience in agency, sponsorship and other strategic roles, is promoted to SVP of business development and head of music. He will now sit on the company’s North American executive committee and lead growth of the music side of the firm.

Former concert promoter and talent buyer Daniel Spicka, who joined See Tickets from Vendini in 2017, is upped to EVP and director of strategic partnerships and will now lead growth of a new business development team, which will focus on further expansion into a diverse set of ticketing verticals.

In addition, ex-CrowdTorch, Ticketfly and Eventbrite veteran MaryMargaret Bilus is promoted to VP of sales operations, while Tony DiCamillo becomes SVP of business development and sits on the executive committee. DiCamillo has been in the ticketing industry for over 20 years in a variety of leadership positions at ExtremeTix and Etix, plus roles with the Houston Rockets and SMG.

“These leaders have each been integral to the expansion of the US business,” says Joe Salem, MD of See Tickets North America. “Each displays the daily integrity and commitment to excellence it takes to drive profitable growth of our music business. I continue to be amazed by the talent on our remarkable team. I’m excited to see what they do next.”

“We love to promote from within our ranks”

Founded in the UK more than 30 years ago, Vivendi-owned See Tickets has offices across Europe and the US including in Los Angeles, Austin, Nottingham, Paris, Berlin, Amsterdam and Madrid.

“We love to promote from within our ranks,” says See Tickets Group CEO Rob Wilmshurst. “This group, without exception, shares the business acumen, leadership abilities and integrity it takes to grow a sound, profitable ticketing business in the US.”

It was announced last month that CTS Eventim is set to acquire See Tickets and a portfolio of festivals from the French-headquartered media group Vivendi. The German live entertainment behemoth was among several parties to register interest in buying See Tickets, along with AEG.

However, CTS disclosed that it has signed a put option agreement on Vivendi’s festival and international ticketing activities, which form part of its Vivendi Village subsidiary. The transaction is expected to be complete in the coming months and both See Tickets and the festival business will retain their existing identities and management.

 


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CTS Eventim wins race to acquire See Tickets

CTS Eventim is set to acquire See Tickets and a portfolio of festivals from the French-headquartered media group Vivendi.

The German live entertainment behemoth was among several parties to register interest in buying See Tickets, along with Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG).

However, CTS today announced it has signed a put option agreement on Vivendi’s festival and international ticketing activities, which form part of its Vivendi Village subsidiary.

The transaction is expected to be complete in the coming months and both See Tickets and the festival business will retain their existing identities and management.

While the price of the acquisition was not revealed, the Financial Times reported that Vivendi was seeking up to £300 million (€351m) for See Tickets, which the French firm bought for €96m in 2011.

The UK-headquartered ticketing company, which operates in nine countries worldwide, sold around 44 million tickets in 2023.

Also included in the CTS deal is Vivendi’s festival arm, which includes 11 events such as the UK’s Love Supreme and Kite, and Garorock in France.

The ticketing and festival activities that CTS Eventim is set to acquire from Vivendi collectively produced €137 million in revenues in 2023.

“CTS Eventim will be the right company to bring our ticketing and festival activities to new heights”

The ticketing business generated roughly €105 million of that, with the UK market responsible for the largest share, followed by its US market. The festival business that is part of the current deal generated an additional €32 million.

Vivendi’s performance hall activities, including L’Olympia in Paris, as well as See Tickets France and Brive Festival, are not part of the agreement.

“With See Tickets and its festival operations, Vivendi has established two notable players in the ticketing and live entertainment sector,” says Klaus-Peter Schulenberg, CEO, CTS Eventim.

“I’d like to thank Vivendi for the productive negotiations, which have created a strong foundation for success in an industry enjoying robust growth across Europe. The acquisition supports our internationalisation strategy and will also benefit artists and their managers, as we will be able to offer even more seamless services on a global scale. We look forward to collaborating with our new colleagues on shaping the future of live entertainment.”

Hala Bavière, CEO of Vivendi Village and member of the Executive Committee of Vivendi: “I am proud of what has been accomplished over more than a decade and extremely grateful for the strong dedication of all the teams involved. We at Vivendi are convinced that CTS Eventim will be the right company to bring our ticketing and festival activities to new heights, supporting See Tickets to remain a state-of-the-art company in services and technology, while fostering the growth of the festivals and preserving their unique identities and audience.”

CTS Eventim recently confirmed its 18th record year of revenue since its IPO in 2000. The pan-European ticketing and live entertainment giant’s annual revenue was up 22% in 2023, surpassing €2 billion for the first time to reach €2.359bn, while normalised EBITDA increased at 32% to reach €501.4 million.

Meanwhile, the firm’s share price has increased by 11.20% in the past five days, reaching an all-time high of €83.60 this morning.

 


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Multiple bidders in running to acquire Garorock

Three potential buyers have emerged for France’s Garorock after the festival was put on the market.

The 50,000-cap event, which launched in Marmande in 1997, was acquired by French-headquartered media giant Vivendi five years ago through its Olympia Production subsidiary.

However, according to a report by Le Républicain, a new owner could be in place by the summer.

“We have received at least three very positive offers,” says a Vivendi spokesperson. “But no decision has been made. The various proposals are under study for several more weeks.”

Garorock 2024 will be held from 27-30 June, headlined by Calvin Harris, Sum 41, Swedish House Mafia and The Offspring. Acts such as Josman, Paul Kalkbrenner, PLK, Timmy Trumpet, Yungblud and Ayra Starr are also lined up to perform.

“To buy Vivendi Village, it can only be a player of this scale”

It was first revealed last September that Vivendi was exploring the sale of parts of its Vivendi Village subsidiary, including its entire festival division – also comprising brands such as Brive and ODP in France and the UK’s Love Supreme and Kite – along with its ticketing firm, See Tickets.

The company reportedly concluded the businesses were not of sufficient scale to compete with the likes of Live Nation and AEG.

AEG and fellow live entertainment giant CTS Eventim were rumoured to have entered the race to acquire See Tickets in late 2023. The Financial Times reported that 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

“To buy Vivendi Village, it can only be a player of this scale,” says Garorock founder Ludovic Larbodie, as per Le Républicain.

 


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AEG and Eventim ‘enter race’ to buy See 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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Vivendi ‘exploring See Tickets sale’

French-headquartered media giant Vivendi is reportedly exploring the sale of See Tickets along with its festival division.

According to Sky News, the conglomerate is working with advisers on potentially offloading parts of its Vivendi Village subsidiary, which also includes 11 festivals such as the UK’s Love Supreme and Kite, as well as Garorock in France.

Sources indicate that Vivendi, which announced the partial spin-off of its stake in Universal Music Group in 2021, has concluded its ticketing and festival businesses were not of sufficient scale to compete with the likes of Live Nation and AEG.

The remainder of Vivendi Village’s operations, including Paris’ L’Olympia venue and a cinema chain in Africa, are not believed to be part of the strategic review process, which is expected to begin imminently. However, insiders caution that the sales of the two businesses were not inevitable, with no final decision yet made.

A Vivendi spokesperson has declined to comment on the report.

“The business is mainly driven by ticketing, which represents 70% of overall revenues and is experiencing strong growth”

See Tickets, which was acquired by Vivendi in 2011, 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. 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).

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.

Vivendi Village 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.

“The business is mainly driven by ticketing, which represents 70% of overall revenues and is experiencing strong growth, due in particular to the expansion of its customer base to new market segments beyond its traditional activities in the field of music,” said Vivendi in response to the financial results.

 


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Wasserman, See Tickets and more form Fix the Tix

Nineteen organisations from across the music industry have formed a coalition to “collectively advocate for a ticketing experience better than the nightmare many fans and artists currently navigate”.

The coalition, named Fix the Tix, comprises companies and associations operating in North America such as Wasserman, See Tickets, Universal Music Group and DICE.

“With representation from venues, promoters and producers, the performing arts, artists groups, recorded music, and independent ticketing companies, this coalition represents stakeholders who take on all the risk to create once-in-a-lifetime experiences and bring joy, employment, and economic impact to communities across America,” reads a statement from the alliance.

“We are collectively advocating for a ticketing experience better than the nightmare many fans and artists currently navigate”

“We are coming together to protect fans from price gouging and deceptive and predatory ticketing practices.”

The creation of the coalition comes during an upheaval of ticketing practices in the US, with lawmakers attempting to clamp down on ticket sellers.

Fix the Tix is the latest coalition to be formed by the live industry after Fans & Artists Insisting on Reforms (FAIR) Ticketing, launched in March by 20 companies including Live Nation, CAA, UTA, Wasserman Music and WME.

Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino this week addressed high-profile furores over ticket prices and on-sales and identified areas of improvement for the ticketing industry.

Fix the Tix has promised more “important announcements” in the coming weeks.

At launch, the coalition includes:

• National Independent Venue Assocation (NIVA)
• American Association of Independent Music (A2IM)
• Americans for the Arts (AFTA)
• Artist Rights Alliance
• Arts Action Fund (AAF)
• Association of Performing Arts Professionals (APAP)
• Black Music Action Coalition
• DICE
• Future of Music Coalition
• Music Artists Coalition
• Music Managers Forum (MMF-US)
• National Independent Talent Organization (NITO)
• Recording Academy
• Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA)
• Seattle Theatre Group
• See Tickets
• Songwriters of North America
• Universal Music Group
• Wasserman

 


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TicketPlan teams with See Tickets in US

Ticket insurance and protection specialist TicketPlan has partnered with See Tickets to provide a refund insurance solution to customers in the US.

The link-up was secured via TicketPlan’s long-standing relationship with Florida and Pennsylvania-based GoReady, a leading provider of travel insurance in the States.

“We are delighted to be providing See Tickets with a refund insurance solution in the USA via our partnership with GoReady and we are all incredibly excited to be working with one of the US’s fastest growing live event ticketing companies,” says Ben Bray, Ticketplan’s relationship and development director.

Established in 1999, TicketPlan enables ticketing companies, venues, events and other organisations to provide an added value service to ticket buyers and develop a new and incremental source of revenue.

“We’re happy to work with the TicketPlan team to offer added protection for ticket purchases”

“We are big fans of See Tickets’ client-friendly approach,” says GoReady CEO Jason Schreier. “GoReady is proud to add its benefits and services to that already outstanding equation.”

UK-based TicketPlan expanded into the Polish market in 2019, having already established its presence in the Dutch, Danish and Italian markets, and announced a partnership with UK ticketing firm and live events website Skiddle last summer.

“Fans have been asking for a solution to protect themselves when the unexpected happens in a ‘no refund’ world,” adds Boris Patronoff, See Tickets Group COO and CEO of See Tickets North America. “We’re happy to work with the TicketPlan team to offer added protection for ticket purchases.”

 


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See Tickets bolsters global team

See Tickets has strengthened its global team with the promotions of Boris Patronoff, Marijke van den Bosch and Adriana García-Abril Ruiz, and the hiring of Laurent de Cerner.

Patronoff becomes chief operating officer of See Tickets Group and remains the CEO of See Tickets in North America, which he launched in 2014. He succeeds Karim Ayari, who is returning to parent company Vivendi to work on strategic initiatives for the Group.

“I am thrilled about these appointments across the Group,” says See Tickets Group CEO Rob Wilmshurst. “With Boris Patronoff we have been able to find an ideal internal successor as Group COO. We are delighted that he will continue to bring his leadership and experience at Group level. I would like to thank Karim Ayari for his outstanding work in building our organisation and helping us navigate the challenging environment of the last couple of years.”

Elsewhere, See Tickets Benelux chief Van den Bosch, who has been a member of the firm’s executive committee since the start of the year, becomes CEO of Benelux and Germany, while García-Abril Ruiz, previously managing director of See Tickets Spain, becomes MD of Iberia for See Tickets.

“I am very excited to promote the next generation of leaders in the Group”

In addition, Laurent de Cerner has been brought in as the new CEO of See Tickets in France and joins the executive committee. He remains the president of Parisian concert hall L’Olympia and is also a member of French promoters’ trade body Prodiss.

“I am very excited to promote the next generation of leaders in the Group with Marijke van den Bosch and Adriana Garcia-Abril Ruiz,” adds Wilmshurst. “I also warmly welcome Laurent to the business. He will bring years of knowledge and experience with venues and promoters to continue to strengthen our position in the French market.”

See Tickets Group’s executive committee now 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).

PHOTO (L-R): Laurent de Cerner, Marijke van den Bosch, Rob Wilmshurst, Leanne Lipscombe (Group CFO), Boris Patronoff and Adriana García-Abril Ruiz.

 


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Spotify launches Live Events Feed

Streaming giant Spotify has launched the Live Events Feed, an in-app destination that allows users to discover concerts in their local area via personalised listings.

The innovation replaces the previous Concert Hub feature, and introduces a number of updates to help fans find shows by their favourite artists.

Listings are sourced from the platform’s ticketing partners including Ticketmaster, AXS, Dice, Eventbrite and See Tickets.

“We’d love to be a part of helping the live music industry recover”

“With shows coming back, and listeners excited to see their favourite artists perform live again, we think this is the perfect time to explore new ways that Spotify can further support the industry,” says René Volker, Spotify’s senior director of live events.

“Thanks to partnerships with leading ticketers like Ticketmaster, AXS, Dice, Eventbrite, See Tickets, and others, Spotify now has most of the world’s concerts listed on-platform in our major markets. Users can now check out those listings on the Live Events Feed. They’ll be excited to see personalised recommendations for upcoming shows based upon their unique taste profile.

“Ultimately, our goal is to ensure that fans are aware of all of the upcoming events by the creators they love and creators they may come to love. We believe if we get that right, then we can get more fans to more shows and help artists and venues have better-filled rooms. We’d love to be a part of helping the live music industry recover and, even more importantly to us, helping to grow it in the years to come.”

“We spent about two years studying the industry, its products and its users”

Sam Sheridan, Spotify’s product manager for live events discovery, explains the Live Events Feed was two years in the making.

“We spent about two years studying the industry, its products and its users,” he says. “One of the key behaviours we see is that fans engage with artists on-platform, but then they leave to search for listings online or to even follow artists on social media for the sole purpose of staying on top of their events. We think the Live Events Feed is an opportunity to help close this loop. This helps ease the burden on fans, reduces the competition artists need to contend with to stand out, and creates new efficiencies around marketing.

“Another core learning was how sticky the discovery pathways are that lead with the artist, which you can see manifest in the design that leans into rich artist imagery, helping fans feel more connected and better informed about their favourite artists. We also included a new way to represent and celebrate the full body of the artist’s touring offering.”

He continues: “In addition, we built a new messaging tool to provide fans with personalised recommendations for upcoming live events based on their listening habits. And we’re putting fans in control of how they want to be communicated with by giving them tools to set their notification preferences, and offering them more information about our different ticketing partners. This, in turn, is helping these partners to find audiences.”

 


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