Impresario backers double money with Global sale
Following the multimillion-pound sale last week of its Impresario festival assets to Global, London-based investment firm Edition Capital has announced the launch of a new fund targeting media and entertainment businesses.
The First Edition EIS (Enterprise Investment Scheme) fund, for which Edition initially hopes to raise £20 million, will draw on the company’s festival expertise to provide funding for businesses operating in live entertainment (including venues), TV and immersive media (such as immersive theatre and experiences).
Edition Capital partner Harry Heartfield comments: “We’re extremely excited to be launching First Edition EIS, and we’re very much looking forward to identifying the next big things in the media and entertainment sectors. The Edition Capital team is highly experienced in developing emerging brands and helping them realise their potential.”
“We are pleased with the outcome for Impresario. The whole team has worked incredibly hard to help create an amazing success story”
In addition to its involvement with Impresario (South West Four, Field Day, Boardmasters), Edition’s partners have also been involved with 19 Entertainment (sold to CKX in 2005 for more than £100m) and Creamfields promoter Cream, which was sold in 2011 to Live Nation.
According to Edition, the sale of Impresario to Global equated to a doubling of shareholder value in less than four years.
Edition Capital’s Adam Spence says: “We are pleased with the outcome for Impresario. The whole team has worked incredibly hard to help create an amazing success story, and we feel sure that Global will be an excellent fit for each of the brands going forward.”
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Global bulks up festival business with new buys
Global has expanded its UK festival footprint to a total of 11 events with the acquisition of South West Four, Field Day, Boardmasters, Rewind, Y Not and Truck festivals, and purchased a further stake in Snowbombing/Festival №6 promoter Broadwick Live.
With Broadwick Live, Global – comprising Global Radio (Heart, Capital, Smooth, Classic FM), Global Television (Capital TV, Heart TV) and Global Entertainment, which includes music publishing, management and live and touring divisions – already promotes, in addition to Austrian music and ski festival Snowbombing and Welsh boutique event Festival №6, Standon Calling, Glass Butter Beach and Lost Village, as well Croatian electronic festival Electric Elephant.
The company declined to provide details on its new holding in Broadwick Live, although the original deal, announced last July, was described as involving a “significant strategic stake”.
“Working with Global … we have a strong partner that offers us unbelievable support and shares our goal to build an international festival business”
Global says a focus for it and Broadwick Live (which have a “stronger partnership” following today’s deal) will be to export their festivals, in partnership with big-name international brands, to new markets, following the template of Snowbombing, which will hold its first Canadian edition, sponsored by Coors, next year.
Sam Bush, director of Global’s live and touring division, says: “We took a stake in Broadwick Live just over a year ago. We’ve had an incredible first year working together, working hard to bring in some of Europe’s leading music festivals, as well as some of the most innovative and well-loved up-and-coming festivals. We have a shared ambition to grow the portfolio, and we look forward to doing this with Gareth and the team at Broadwick Live, as well as the founders and managers of the festivals we have acquired.”
Gareth Cooper, CEO of Broadwick Live, adds: “These are exciting times. Working with Global has helped us to realise our ambitions and then some. We have a strong partner that offers us unbelievable support and shares our goal to build an international festivals business, starting with our first venture in North America [Snowbombing Canada] next year. What we have announced today is just the beginning.”
Global launched Global Entertainment, headed up initially by former AEG CEO Randy Phillips, in February 2015.