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Private equity & live music: Who owns what?

It was recently reported that Providence Equity Partners-backed live giant Superstruct Entertainment was being readied for a sale, with a formal auction process set to be launched within weeks.

Providence was said to be working alongside banks Liontree and HSBC to gauge interest after planning the sale last summer, with Blackstone and CVC highlighted as potential bidders.

The report once again brought the international touring industry’s relationship with private equity (PE) into focus, with a number of the world’s biggest companies now wedded to that world. Ticketing guru Tim Chambers tackled the increasingly hot topic in a recent op-ed for IQ.

“The corporatisation of the live music industry to form a series of vertically aligned international conglomerates has attracted the attention of a growing number of private equity and capital investment groups, all, it seems, subscribers to the notion of perpetual sector growth,” he said.

“PE investments are made in the belief that they will lead to a profitable return, rather than any abstract concerns such as great art or a vibrant and diverse live music ecosystem.”

Providence expanded its music portfolio in 2022 with a strategic investment in agency giant Wasserman

Superstruct, the second-largest festival promoter on the planet after Live Nation, was founded in 2017 by Creamfields founder and ex-Live Nation president of electronic music James Barton and Roderik Schlosser while at Providence Equity Partners.

Providence expanded its music portfolio in 2022 with a strategic investment in agency giant Wasserman, and also backs Ambassador Theatre Group and Tait (Towers). In addition, it bought into Sweetwater, the leading US retailer of musical instruments and audio equipment, in 2021.

Last year meanwhile, it acquired audio specialist d&b Group along with a minority stake in Populous, an architectural and design firm for sports and entertainment venues, whose portfolio spans 3,000 projects including London’s Wembley Stadium and the Las Vegas Sphere.

Sixth Street-backed premium experiences specialist Legends revealed an agreement to purchase venue management giant ASM Global in November last year. The reputed $2.4 billion deal is planned to lead to the creation of a premium global live events company.

Silicon Valley-based PE firm Silver Lake announced last month it is to acquire all outstanding shares WME parent company Endeavor. Silver Lake made its initial investment in WME in 2012 and bought fashion and sports-focused talent agency IMG for $2.4 billion in late 2013, rolling up both acquisitions into WME-IMG. The mega-agency was rebranded as Endeavor in 2017.

Furthermore, Silver Lake acquired Australian live entertainment behemoth TEG from another investment company, Affinity Equity Partners, in 2019, in a reputed A$1.3bn deal, and also owns shares in Oak View Group and invested in sports merchandise company Fanatics.

“Arguably, only other PE-backed entities have the means to undertake such large-scale acquisitions, and so the concentration of ownership within the sector will inevitably continue”

Global investment firm Blackstone got in on the act in 2018, snapping up the UK’s NEC Group in a deal reportedly worth more than £800 million and looks poised to acquire song management company Hipgnosis Songs Fund.

In 2018, Netherlands-based multinational investment firm Waterland Private Equity acquired six leading Scandinavian promoters and agencies – ICO Concerts and ICO Management and Touring (Denmark), Friction and Atomic Soul Booking (Norway) and Blixten & Co and Maloney Concerts (Sweden), bringing them together as All Things Live.

Elsewhere, Artémis, an investment firm led by billionaire French businessman Francois-Henri Pinault, acquired TPG’s majority stake in Creative Artists Agency (CAA) last year. PE company TPG had upped its 35% stake in CAA to 53% for a reported $225 million in 2014. The previous year, “purpose-driven global investment organisation” EQT entered the global touring business to become the largest outside shareholder in United Talent Agency (UTA).

US businessman Ron Burkle’s private equity firm Yucaipa Companies invested in booking agency Day After Day Productions in 2022, adding to existing live music interests such as  booking agencies Artist Group International, X-ray Touring, APA and K2Primavera Sound and Primavera Pro, and promoter Danny Wimmer Presents. APA and AGI merged to form Independent Artist Group (IAG) last year.

Plus, Chicago-based PE company GTCR made a “strategic investment” in American ticket exchange Vivid Seats back in 2017, and South by Southwest’s newly announced SXSW London spin-off will be produced under licence from SXSW LLC by Panarise, a live entertainment company established and owned by private investment vehicle Panarae. According to documents obtained by CMU, Panarae is associated with Ali Munir, an investor and director of SXSW’s majority owner, Penske Media Corporation.

In conclusion, Chambers, who serves as a ticketing advisor, consultant, and non-executive for various live entertainment operators, pondered whether the marriage between private equity and live entertainment had become too big to fail.

“In short, the PE strategy is to increase the volume of events by extending the territorial reach, improving the physical environment where events occur, and by then extracting more from audiences via value-add bundles, packages, and surge-pricing,” he said. “The consolidation of the live entertainment sector by a diminishing number of ever larger congloms has therefore been both a cause and effect of the influx of new capital.

“After the economic impact of layers of (vertical) consolidation and (horizontal) aggregation, the squeezing of costs, and the surge-pricing of audiences, to whom can PE-owned live music congloms sell as part of their exit strategies? Arguably, only other PE-backed entities have the means to undertake such large-scale acquisitions, and so the concentration of ownership within the sector will inevitably continue.”

 


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WME parent Endeavor to go private in $13bn deal

WME parent company Endeavor will be acquired by majority shareholder Silver Lake in a deal valued at $13 billion.

Endeavor, a Los Angeles-based sports and entertainment giant, has publicly traded as “EDR” on the New York Stock Exchange since April 2021.

Last year, private equity company Silver Lake (which also owns shares in TEG and Oak View Group) announced its intention to take Endeavor private, causing the share price to surge by 25%.

The Silicon Valley-based PE firm yesterday (2 April) confirmed it will acquire all outstanding shares, with Endeavor stockholders receiving $27.50 per share.

Endeavor is also the parent company of sports booking outfit IMG, events business On Location, marketing agency 160over90 and sports data and technology properties IMG Arena and OpenBet.

TKO Group Holdings, Endeavor’s publicly listed company consisting of UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) and WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment), is not included in the $13 bn deal.

“Since 2012, Endeavor’s strategic partnership with Silver Lake and Egon Durban have been central to our evolution into the global sports and entertainment leader we are today,” says Ariel Emanuel, CEO of Endeavor.

“We have built and grown Endeavor from $350m in annual revenue when we first invested in 2012 to nearly $6 bn in consolidated revenue today”

“We believe this transaction will maximize value for all of Endeavor’s public stockholders and are excited to continue to unlock and invest in the growth opportunities ahead as a private company.”

Egon Durban, Co-CEO and Managing Partner of Silver Lake, and Chairman of the Board of Endeavor, said: “Our unwavering belief in Ari and Patrick, together with Mark and other talented leaders at Endeavor, has never been stronger. This is a very special partnership.

“Together, we have built and grown Endeavor from $350 million in annual revenue when we first invested in 2012 to nearly $6 billion in consolidated revenue today. Now, Endeavor can take advantage of its unique core platform to meet the dynamic forces driving growth in content, sports, and live events with bold vision. Consistent with our mission and underscored by this commitment being among the largest in Silver Lake’s history, we are all in on working with the Endeavor team and our trusted anchor investors to create value by accelerating growth at scale.”

Silver Lake made its initial investment in WME in 2012. In late 2013, it bought fashion and sports-focused talent agency IMG for $2.4 billion and rolled up both acquisitions into WME-IMG. The mega-agency was rebranded as Endeavor in 2017.

WMEs music roster includes Justin Timberlake, Adele, Bruno Mars, Pearl Jam, The Killers and Foo Fighters, among others.

Earlier this year, Silver Lake, which also has interests in City Football Group and Madison Square Garden Sports, secured a A$1.1 billion (€663.8 million) dividend recapitalisation for Australian live entertainment giant TEG after attempts to sell the company reportedly stalled.

 


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Silver Lake ‘locks in $1.1bn TEG dividend recap’

TEG’s owner Silver Lake has secured a A$1.1 billion (€663.8 million) dividend recapitalisation for the Australian live entertainment giant after attempts to sell the company stalled, according to recent media reports.

The Australian Financial Review listed KKR Credit Markets and Singapore government-owned investment firm Temasek as among the biggest backers in a joint proposal alongside The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), with five lenders signing up overall as part of the debt refinancing package.

A dividend recap happens when a firm takes on new debt in order to pay a special dividend to private investors or shareholders. AFR sources say “the new debt facility includes a $950 million, five-year, covenant-lite loan at a margin of 550 basis points, and a $130 million revolver”.

The AFR describes the move as “a good outcome by any standards” for Silver Lake and co-owner Mercury Capital.

“KKR and Temasek investing together is the type of high-quality creditor you’d want in a debt stack while CPPIB oversees $600 billion in members’ money distributed via the type of global investment programme that AustralianSuper or Aware Super would love to emulate,” it notes.

Silicon Valley-based Silver Lake acquired the TEG Live and Ticketek parent from another investment company, Affinity Equity Partners, in 2019

While Temasek, KKR, Silver Lake and TEG declined to comment to Bloomberg on the report, The Edge Malaysia says the deal – which was locked in just before Christmas 2023 – will give Silver Lake Management a payout after talks to offload TEG proved unsuccessful.

Silicon Valley-based Silver Lake acquired the TEG Live and Ticketek parent from another investment company, Affinity Equity Partners, in 2019 in a reputed A$1.3bn deal and reportedly launched a sales process for TEG last year. However, Silver Lake’s asking price for TEG was believed to be around 50% higher than what the company was valued at by potential bidders.

TEG’s portfolio also includes TEG Sport, TEG Experiences, TEG Dainty, SXSW Sydney, TEG MJR, TEG Van Egmond, TEG Rockefeller, Qudos Bank Arena, Softix, TicketCharge, TicketWorld, Ticketek Singapore and Ovation.

Silver Lake also owns shares in Oak View Group, City Football Group and Madison Square Garden Sports, along with a 71% stake in WME owner Endeavor.

 


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TEG dividend recap mooted as sale talk cools

TEG’s owner is seeking a dividend recapitalisation as an alternative to selling the Aussie live entertainment giant, according to a new report.

Private-equity firm Silver Lake enlisted Jefferies’ bankers to launch a sales process for TEG earlier this year, but failed to agree a sale despite interest from fellow investment companies Blackstone and KKR, reports the Australian Financial Review.

Concert promotion, ticketing and technology firm TEG operates out of seven countries worldwide with offices in Australia, New Zealand, south-east Asia and the UK.

Silicon Valley-based Silver Lake acquired the business from another investment company, Affinity Equity Partners, in 2019 in a reputed A$1.3bn deal.

The AFR says Silver Lake’s asking price for TEG was believed to be around 50% higher than the company was valued at by potential bidders.

“The seller was understood to be seeking a circa $3 billion price tag, while the bidders saw TEG being worth more like $2bn”

“The seller was understood to be seeking a circa $3 billion price tag, while the bidders saw TEG being worth more like $2bn,” it notes. “In addition to the dividend recapitalisation, the possibility of a minority sale was thrown around.”

It adds that Silver Lake has now started “meeting with lenders for a dividend recapitalisation”, and is being advised on the process by Goldman Sachs. A dividend recap happens when a firm takes on new debt in order to pay a special dividend to private investors or shareholders.

TEG’s portfolio includes TEG Live, TEG Sport, TEG Experiences, TEG Dainty, SXSW Sydney, TEG MJR, TEG Van Egmond, TEG Rockefeller, Qudos Bank Arena, Ticketek, Softix, TicketCharge, TicketWorld, Ticketek Singapore and Ovation. Last year, it announced the formation of TEG Europe, consolidating the company’s UK-based operations into a single entity.

Silver Lake also owns shares in Oak View Group, City Football Group and Madison Square Garden Sports, along with a 71% stake in WME owner Endeavor. Last week, it revealed it was working towards a proposal to take the business private.

 


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Silver Lake considers taking Endeavor private

Shares in WME’s parent company Endeavor have soared after global investment giant Silver Lake revealed it was working towards a proposal to take the business private.

The disclosure by Silver Lake, which holds a 71% stake in the sports and entertainment firm, came after Endeavor confirmed it was looking at “strategic alternatives” that better value the company.

Endeavor went public two-and-a-half years ago but TBI Vision reports its share price had almost halved from a near $35 peak in December 2021 to $17.72 before surging 25% in the wake of yesterday’s announcements. Silicon Valley-based Silver Lake also owns shares in TEG, Oak View Group, City Football Group and Madison Square Garden Sports.

“Silver Lake is committed to strategies that deliver value for all shareholders of Endeavor,” reads a statement from the private equity firm. “To that end, Silver Lake is currently working toward making a proposal to take Endeavor private. Silver Lake firmly believes in Endeavor’s business and is not interested in selling its shares in Endeavor to a third-party nor in entertaining bids for assets that are a part of Endeavor.

“Silver Lake is the owner of approximately 71% of the voting power of Endeavor. Our co-chief executive officer, Egon Durban, and our managing director, Stephen Evans, serve as members of the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of Endeavor. Silver Lake has been a committed investor since 2012 and has made significant investments in Endeavor since then to support its growth.”

“We believe an evaluation of strategic alternatives is a prudent approach to ensure we are maximising value for our shareholder”

In addition to WME, Endeavor is also the parent company of sports booking outfit IMG, events business On Location, marketing agency 160over90 and sports data and technology properties IMG Arena and OpenBet.

Endeavor clarifies that it is not considering “the sale or disposition of the company’s interest” in TKO Group Holdings, the new publicly listed company consisting of UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) and WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment).

“Given the continued dislocation between Endeavor’s public market value and the intrinsic value of Endeavor’s underlying assets, we believe an evaluation of strategic alternatives is a prudent approach to ensure we are maximising value for our shareholders,” said Endeavor CEO Ariel Emanuel.

WME-IMG – the mega-agency formed by the 2013 merger of music/media agency William Morris Endeavor and International Management Group – rebranded as Endeavor in 2017. WME‘s music roster includes Justin Timberlake, Adele, Bruno Mars, Pearl Jam, The Killers and Foo Fighters, among others.

Artémis, an investment firm led by billionaire French businessman Francois-Henri Pinault, acquired TPG’s majority stake in WME rival Creative Artists Agency (CAA) last month in a deal that reportedly valued CAA at $7 billion.

 


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TEG owner ‘to launch sales process in April’

The owner of TEG is reportedly planning to launch a sales process for the Australasian live entertainment powerhouse this April.

Silicon Valley-based private-equity firm Silver Lake acquired TEG from Affinity Equity Partners, another investment company, in 2019.

According to a report in The Australian, the possible sale is expected to be led by investment bank Jefferies.

“It is logical for private-equity firms to be the most likely buyers,” reads the report, as cited by The Music Network, noting there was the opportunity “for a strategy player to be competitive in an auction”.

Insiders told the Australian Financial Review last month that Jefferies’ bankers were “readying big global buyout funds for the upcoming auction, pitching it as a unique business worldwide”.

TEG operates out of seven countries worldwide with offices in Australia, New Zealand, south-east Asia and the UK

Concert promotion, ticketing and technology firm TEG operates out of seven countries worldwide with offices in Australia, New Zealand, south-east Asia and the UK.

The group’s portfolio includes TEG Live, TEG Sport, TEG Experiences, TEG Dainty, SXSW Sydney, TEG MJR, TEG Van Egmond, TEG Rockefeller, Qudos Bank Arena, Ticketek, Softix, TicketCharge, TicketWorld, Ticketek Singapore and Ovation.

Last year, it announced the formation of TEG Europe, consolidating the company’s UK-based operations into a single entity, with former Live Nation and AEG Presents UK executive Toby Leighton-Pope hired as MD, while in 2021 it welcomed Australasian touring festival Laneway and promoter Handsome Tours to the TEG family.

Based out of London and Bristol, TEG Europe comprises five different divisions: TEG Live Europe, TEG Venues, Propaganda, Ticketek and Ovation.

TEG Live Europe includes the former TEG MJR touring business

TEG Live Europe includes the former TEG MJR touring business, which has worked with artists including Snoop Dogg, Sia, Hans Zimmer, 50 Cent, Tom Jones, and Culture Club.

TEG Venues includes 10 owned, operated, co-promoted, and programmed venues throughout the UK, including Tramshed (cap. 1,000) in Cardiff, XOYO (800) in London and The Mill (1,000) in Birmingham.

Propaganda, the UK’s leading indie rock & roll nightclub brand, includes fifteen weekly events across the country, as well as promoted events in the US, Australia, Brazil and Ibiza.

Ticketek, which has 40+ years’ experience ticketing major international events and partnering with some of the world’s best venues, was introduced into the UK in 2020 and already works with some of the country’s premier venues.

And Ovation, TEG’s data science and analytics business, provides sports organisations, venues, promoters, content creators, media and tech partners with analytics, data science, research, personalisation, and advanced digital marketing.

 


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Silver Lake, Roc Nation invest in merch company Fanatics

Sports merchandise company Fanatics has raised US$325 million from investors including Jay-Z and his company Roc Nation, a joint venture with Live Nation, and private-equity company Silver Lake Partners, which owns shares in TEG, WME, Oak View Group and Madison Square Garden Company.

Headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida, and with international offices in Tokyo and Manchester, UK, e-commerce giant Fanatics sells officially licensed products for the National Football League, Major League Baseball, the National Football League, Nascar and more, and also operates several bricks-and-mortar shops.

The new funding will be put towards launching a non-merchandising division focusing on ticketing, gaming, media and sports betting, according to the Wall Street Journal. The company recently launched a company focusing on NFTs (non-fungible tokens), Candy Digital, and also has a partnership with leading esports competition Overwatch League.

The new investment values the company at more than $18 billion, the WSJ reports. The company expects to make $3.4bn in revenues in 2021.

Last week, the company hired Dan Goldberg, formerly of Warner Music Group, as senior vice-president for music and entertainment development, signalling its intention to branch out beyond sports apparel into music merchandise.

 


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Australian promoter the Van Egmond Group joins TEG

Australian promoter the Van Egmond Group has joined live entertainment giant TEG, adding to the company’s live music arms TEG Live, TEG Dainty and TEG MJR.

Led by Garry and Christo Van Egmond, the Melbourne-based company has over 45 years’ experience in event promotion, merchandising and ticketing and has promoted tours including Dire Straits’ Brothers in Arms and AC/DC’s Black Ice.

Under the deal, the group will be renamed TEG Van Egmond. Financial terms have not been disclosed.

“The Van Egmond Group has a long pedigree of delivering blockbuster tours with huge acts such as Dire Straits, Billy Joel, Rod Stewart, INXS, Riverdance, Prince, Bette Midler, Dolly Parton and the great AC/DC,” says TEG CEO Geoff Jones.

“Garry has sold well in excess of 30 million tickets across contemporary concerts and theatre productions in the Australasian marketplace and we are delighted to have him and Christo on board as part of the TEG family.”

“We have seen TEG’s phenomenal growth over the last few years and we look forward to delivering some big tours and events under TEG Van Egmond”

Garry Van Egmond adds: “We have seen TEG’s phenomenal growth over the last few years under Geoff’s leadership and we are very excited about joining TEG and look forward to delivering some big tours and events under TEG Van Egmond.

“TEG Van Egmond will be active in both the North America and UK/Europe for top-tier touring opportunities for Australia and South East Asia.”

Cindy Wilson, previously managing director of BASE Entertainment Asia, will represent TEG Van Egmond in North America, based in Los Angeles.

TEG, which was bought by private equity firm Silver Lake Partners in October 2019, last year expanded into Europe through its acquisition of the MJR Group, now TEG MJR, and launched a new family entertainment arm, TEG Experiences. The company also issues over 28 million tickets a year through its ticketing platform Ticketek.

Along with TEG Live and TEG Dainty, the company organised the Fire Fight Australia bushfire benefit concert earlier this month.

 


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The decade in live: 2012

The start of a new year and, perhaps more significantly, a new decade is fast approaching – and while many may be thinking ahead to New Year’s Eve plans and well-meaning 2020 resolutions, IQ is casting its mind back to the most pivotal industry moments of the last ten years.

As in the previous 12 months, 2012 saw the live music industry still grappling with the effects of the global economic crisis, with many countries just beginning to clamber out of recession and others heading for dreaded ‘double dips’.

This continuing economic uncertainty naturally bit into the leisure spend of discriminating ticket buyers with a variety of entertainment options – though the world did not, as predicted by some long-dead Mexicans, come to an end.

Elsewhere, the weather gods interfered with yet more festivals, while Hurricane Sandy had a devastating effect on the industry in the New York area. In the UK, meanwhile, the Olympics scored on many levels, but provided far too much competition for many.

 


2012 in numbers

The top 50 worldwide tours grossed a combined US$3 billion in 2012, according to Pollstar, down around 2% from $3.07bn in 2011.

Madonna’s MDNA tour was the clear No1, grossing $296.1 million, ahead of second-placed Bruce Springsteen, whose E Street Band earned $210.2m. Both acts played to more than 2m fans worldwide 2012.

Roger Waters’ The Wall generated $186.4m to come in at No3, and was also the highest-ranking hold-over from the 2011 chart, where he placed No5 with a gross of $103.6 million.

Reflecting the lingering impact of the financial crisis, the total tickets sold by the top 50 tours was 34.9m, which continued the decline from 35.5m the previous year (and well off the pace from 2009, when the top 50 sold 45.3 million, says Pollstar).

 


2012 in brief

January
FKP Scorpio buys a stake in Utrecht-based booking agency and artist management company Friendly Fire.

Touring festival Big Day Out calls time on its New Zealand leg after promoter Ken West admits that falling audience numbers have made the Auckland show unviable.

February

Madonna sparks controversy when she tells Newsweek  magazine fans should “work all year, scrape the money together” for a $300 ticket to her MDNA tour.

March
Private-equity firm CVC Asia Pacific puts its Australian ticketing company, Ticketek, and Sydney’s Allphones Arena up for a sale in a bid to reduce a A$2.7bn (€2.1bn) debt run-up by Nine Entertainment, which owns the assets.

Stuart Galbraith buys out AEG’s 50% stake in Kilimanjaro Live for an undisclosed sum. Both parties say they will continue to work together on events in future. (Kili later cancels the 2012 edition of Sonisphere at Knebworth, which was to have featured Kiss, Faith No More and Marilyn Manson.)

Ebay-owned secondary ticketing service, StubHub, launches operations in the UK and admits it is looking at further expansion across Europe.

Roger Waters's The Wall tour was the third most lucrative of 2012

Roger Waters’s The Wall tour was the third most lucrative of 2012 (© Brennan Schnell/Eastscene.com/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 2.0))

April
Serbian authorities arrest the venue owner and other individuals following a fire at the Contrast nightclub in Novi Sad that leaves six people dead.

Tupac Shakur, who died 15 years previous, is the main talking point at Coachella, as a multimillion-dollar hologram of the rapper appears on stage alongside Dr Dre and Snoop Dogg.

May
Viagogo raises eyebrows by shifting its operational base from the UK to Switzerland, amid speculation it wants to resell tickets for the Olympic Games without falling foul of British law.

Investment firm Silver Lake Partners completes a transaction to acquire a 31% stake in William Morris Endeavor.

June
Former AEG Germany CEO Detlef Kornett forms a venue consultancy, Verescon, with DEAG with Peter Schwenkow.

Swedish telecom operator Tele2 pays an undisclosed sum to secure naming rights for Stockholm’s new 40,000-capacity stadium, operated by AEG.

Paul McCartney, Mike Oldfield and Dizzee Rascal performed at the London 2012 opening ceremony
Paul McCartney, Mike Oldfield and Dizzee Rascal performed at the London 2012 opening ceremony (© Matt Deegan/Flickr (CC BY 2.0))

July
Live Nation appoints former CAA exec David Zedeck to the role of executive VP and president of global talent and artist development.

Artists including Paul McCartney, Mike Oldfield, Dizzee Rascal and Emeli Sandé are each paid £1 for their performances at the Olympics opening ceremony. The show attracts 26.9m viewers in the UK alone, and billions more worldwide.

August
Three members of Russian punk band Pussy Riot are jailed for two years each, after staging an anti-Vladimir Putin protest in a Moscow cathedral.

September
AEG drops its claim against Lloyd’s of London on a multimillion-dollar insurance policy, following the death of Michael Jackson.

C3 Presents’ Lollapalooza debuted in Brazil in AprilC3 Presents’ Lollapalooza debuted in Brazil in April (© Henrique Oli/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0))

October
Glastonbury Festival takes just 100 minutes to sell out all 135,000 tickets for next summer’s event, despite not naming a single act on the 2013 bill.

C3 Presents extends an arrangement with Globo Organization’s GEO for more events in Brazil, following a successful Lollapalooza.

November
AEG is awarded the contract to take over shows at London’s prestigious Hyde Park, ending Live Nation’s decade-long relationship with the 80,000-capacity space.

Frank Barsalona, founder of Premier Talent, dies aged 74. Premier was the first agency to work exclusively with rock artists, with clients including the Yardbirds, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, U2 and Van Halen.

December
The Wall Street Journal reports that a number of bidders are in contention to acquire AEG, despite a reported $10bn asking price.

Irving Azoff unexpectedly resigns as chairman of Live Nation and CEO of its Front Line Management Group, to concentrate on his own artist management company.

 


Whitney Houston

Who we lost

Notable industry deaths in 2012 included South by Southwest creative director Brent Grulke, Lasse Ollsen of Swedish promoter Viva Art Music, Jon Lord of Deep Purple, Armin Rahn, founder of Munich-based Armin Rahn Agency and Management, Radiohead drum tech Scott Johnson, Perth Arena general manager David Humphreys, R&B legend Etta James, pop powerhouse Whitney Houston, the Bee Gees’ Robin Gibb, disco diva Donna Summer, the Monkees’ Davy Jones and legendary agents Armin Rahm and Frank Barsalona.

 


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Silver Lake invests in OVG Manchester arena partner

Silver Lake, a private equity firm with stakes in a number of major live entertainment companies, has acquired a US$500 million stake in Manchester City Football Club owner City Football Group (CFG), the partner on Oak View Group’s (OVG) new arena project.

The buy-in, which sees the investor take control of more than 10% of CFG, complements the $100m investment Silver Lake made in venue development group OVG last year.

OVG is currently working in partnership with CFG on building a major new concert venue in the Eastlands area of Manchester, home to the football club’s Etihad Stadium. The arena project entered into its second round of consultation meetings yesterday (Thursday 28 November), the day after Silver Lake announced its CFG investment.

“We and Silver Lake share the strong belief in the opportunities being presented by the convergence of entertainment, sports and technology”

“We and Silver Lake share the strong belief in the opportunities being presented by the convergence of entertainment, sports and technology,” comments CFG chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak.

Silver Lake has invested heavily in the entertainment industry in recent years and currently owns 100% of Asia-Pacific live entertainment giant TEG, 51% of WME/UFC parent company Endeavor and 8.4% of Madison Square Garden Company.

The investor’s most recent deal places CFG at a valuation of $4.8 billion – a record for a sports group. According to the Financial Times, the $500m cash injection will help fund CFG’s acquisition of more football clubs globally, as well as the planned construction of a new stadium in New York.

 


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