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TEG stages Australia’s ‘biggest beach party ever’

TEG Live has made history by hosting “the biggest beach party ever staged in Australia”, with a sold-out 30,000-cap hometown show by DJ Fisher.

The Australian promoter, which organised the inaugural Out 2 Lunch Festival on Coolangatta Beach, Gold Coast, says the Queensland-only 4 May event injected more than A$50 million (€31m) into the local economy.

More than 200 local businesses were involved in the planning and delivery of the festival, which created more than 2,000 jobs, while accommodation was sold out across the Gold Coast.

“TEG is delighted with the inaugural Out 2 Lunch Festival, and it was great to see the economic impact that the Festival had on the local community,” says TEG Group CEO Geoff Jones. “This was no easy feat, as the planning and logistics required to deliver the Event were extraordinary, particularly as this was the very first time this many people attended a staged event on Coolangatta Beach.

“We would like to sincerely thank Team Fisher, the City of Gold Coast, the World Surf League, Southern Gold Coast Chamber of Commerce, Coolangatta and Greenmount Surf Life Saving Clubs and the many, many other Partners and Stakeholders who helped TEG bring this epic event to life.”

“Belinda comes to TEG with a proven track record working with global brands across local and international markets”

At Fisher and his wife Chloe’s request, $1 from every ticket sold was donated to the Starlight Foundation. A further $20 donation was required for the Pink Elephants Support Network for those punters attending via guestlist or complimentary tickets. In total, $35,320 was raised for the Starlight Foundation and Pink Elephants Support Network.

In addition, TEG has announced the appointment of Belinda Shaw, who will succeed the long-serving Sandra Rouse as the group’s chief financial officer. Shaw brings more than 25 years of senior experience and was most recently CFO at Boral, Australia’s largest vertically-integrated construction materials company.

“Belinda comes to TEG with a proven track record working with global brands across local and international markets, and her in-depth knowledge and experience will be key to the role as we continue to drive growth,” adds Jones. “I warmly welcome Belinda to TEG and look forward to working alongside her.

“I also want to take this opportunity to thank Sandra for her enormous contribution over the past 13 years. During that time, Sandra has supported the business through impressive growth, changes in ownership, a pandemic, acquisitions in multiple countries and the list keeps going. I feel privileged to have had Sandra on the team and have the utmost respect for her commitment, leadership, and contributions at TEG.

“Sandra will be moving into a new role in the business where her intimate knowledge of the Operations and landscape will drive a number of important initiatives across strategy, M&A and operations.”

 


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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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Garry Van Egmond dies after surgery complications

Tributes have started flowing in for Garry Van Egmond, who died on Saturday 6 April, following complications of recent surgery.

As founder of the Van Egmond Group, Garry was a key figure in the Australasian entertainment industry, with more than 50 years’ experience in touring, production of theatrical events, merchandising, marketing, and promotion. In a statement, promoting powerhouse TEG Van Egmond said that Van Egmond was responsible for sales of more than 35 million tickets across Australia, New Zealand, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Korea, Taiwan & Japan.

The promoter of some of Australia’s most historic tours, Garry long list of achievements include Bette Midler’s The Divine Miss M Tour, which sold out 72 performances in 1978; Dire Straits’ 1986 Brothers In Arms tour; Jesus Christ Superstar in 1992; Riverdance in 1997; and AC/DC’s Black Ice tour in 2010, which became the fastest selling tour in Australian history selling over 520,000 tickets in under three hours, and went on to to sell more than 760,000 tickets in Australia & New Zealand.

Former Dire Straits manager Ed Bicknell tells IQ, “As you may know I did all four sold-out Dire Straits tours of Australasia with Garry. He was everything a great promoter should be but much more than that, he became a real and trusted friend to Mark Knopfler, John Illsley, the other musicians and our road crew, my office staff, and especially to me.

“He was a class act and most importantly a kind man with whom a contract seemed wholly irrelevant so we didn’t have one. I’m really going to miss him.”

“His legacy will stand the test of time”

In early 2020, Van Egmond Group was acquired by TEG Group, and continued to operate under Garry’s leadership as TEG Van Egmond.

TEG Group CEO Geoff Jones says, “Today the entire TEG family expresses our sadness and mourns the loss of Garry Van Egmond.

“Garry was not only a highly valued colleague but a thoroughly decent person, and a resounding talent with the highest integrity. His legacy will stand the test of time. Our thoughts are with Christo, Katie and his family through these difficult times.”

TEG Van Egmond managing director, Christo Van Egmond says, “Garry was a true gentleman in the business and was highly regarded and respected by artists, managers, agents, and everyone he worked with. He was a superb mentor to me and I have enjoyed working with him for nearly 30 years. Over that time, we have presented some amazing events in Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He was a fantastic father and friend to me and will be missed dearly by his family, friends, and colleagues.”

Garry is survived by his daughter Katie, son Christo and grandchildren Hugo and Saskia.

 


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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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TEG Group names Simon Cahill head of commercial

Australia’s TEG Group has appointed Simon Cahill as head of commercial.

Cahill will be responsible for all of TEG’s commercial activity across the group, working with all the company’s businesses to identify and drive growth opportunities globally. He will operate from TEG’s Sydney office, reporting to TEG’s Group CEO Geoff Jones.

In addition to his new role, Cahill will continue as head of marketing and commercial partnerships for SXSW Sydney.

“Simon has done a tremendous job at SXSW Sydney and his expertise and drive make him a perfect fit for this new role”

“TEG is delighted to welcome Simon Cahill into this vital role as we continue to grow the business and deliver exceptional partnerships through live experiences by connecting brands with consumers and generating ROI,” says Jones.

“Simon has done a tremendous job at SXSW Sydney and his expertise and drive make him a perfect fit for this new role and a great addition to the senior leadership team.”

Cahill adds: “I am excited to further immerse myself across the TEG Group, a powerhouse in the live entertainment game. TEG is currently in an exciting time of growth both locally and globally and I look forward to seizing these opportunities for clients through world-class partnerships. Finally, I would like to thank Geoff Jones for this opportunity and for his ongoing support.”

It was reported earlier this month that TEG’s owner Silver Lake secured a A$1.1 billion (€663.8 million) dividend recapitalisation for the Australian live entertainment giant after attempts to sell the company 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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Ticketek Australia appoints Phil King as MD

TEG, the Australasian ticketing, live content and data analytics company, has announced the appointment of Phil King as managing director of Ticketek Australia.

King comes to TEG with more than 20 years of experience within the industry, most recently as chief commercial officer at the South Australian Cricket Association (SACA).

Prior to joining SACA, he held senior executive positions at several major venue organisations, including general manager of The Adelaide Entertainment Centre, director of live entertainment at the International Convention Centre, and commercial manager at Qudos Bank Arena.

King will operate from TEG’s Sydney office, reporting to the newly promoted COO and head of global ticketing Cameron Hoy. King will lead Ticketek’s Client Services, Ticketing Solutions and Delivery teams to ensure the organisation continues to deliver the best ticketing solutions and service to partners.

“King is a highly experienced executive with a strong track record of more than 20 years’ experience across stadia and arenas”

TEG CEO Geoff Jones congratulated King, saying: “TEG is delighted to welcome Phil in this vital role as we continue to grow the business, innovate, and deliver exceptional partnerships for our clients, and experiences for our customers.

“King is a highly experienced executive with a strong track record of more than 20 years’ experience across stadia and arenas who will bring a wealth of knowledge to the business. We look forward to his appointment at TEG.”

Ticketek’s COO & head of global ticketing Cameron Hoy added: “I have known Phil for over 15 years. He is a highly respected industry executive who will bring a unique level of insight and understanding to Ticketek’s service delivery. I look forward to working closely with him in his new role at TEG.”

King said: “I am delighted to join the TEG Group at this exciting time where the organisation is growing at a rapid pace. Ticketek is one of the most innovative, all-encompassing organisations within the live events industry and I look forward to becoming part of the fabric that tells Ticketek’s next story.”

 


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Ticketek MD Cameron Hoy upped to new TEG role

Ticketek MD Cameron Hoy has been promoted to TEG’s chief operating officer & head of global ticketing.

In his new role, Sydney-based Hoy will be responsible for oversight of divisions including TEG’s data science, analytics and digital divisions, product and technology in addition to leading TEG’s global ticketing operations.

“I am delighted to appoint my longtime colleague Cameron Hoy to the role of chief operating officer and head of global ticketing,” says TEG Group CEO Geoff Jones. “He is an experienced executive leader, with excellent business acumen and has a proven track record of delivering innovation and growth across our ticketing, digital and data science divisions over many years.

“Cameron’s promotion recognises his significant contribution to our company and reflects TEG’s increasingly global footprint. I look forward to continuing to work very closely with Cam in his new role and to be working together to deliver the best possible ticketing, digital and data solutions for our partners across the globe.”

“I look forward to continuing to work closely together as TEG embarks on its next phase of growth and innovation”

Hoy, who joined TEG’s Ticketek Australia division in 2007, says he welcomes the challenge of the new position.

“I am immensely proud of the team’s achievements and to lead teams of exceptional people who believe so strongly in our vision to continue to build the world’s leading ticketing, digital and data science platform,” he adds.

“With digital innovation and technology moving faster today than it ever has before, there’s ample opportunities for expansion and growth across the many facets of the TEG business – both locally and globally. I am delighted to be taking on this new role at such an exciting time of growth for TEG as we build TEG into a truly global organisation.

“Finally, I am particularly grateful for Geoff’s ongoing support and leadership, we have enjoyed an excellent working partnership for many years, and I look forward to continuing to work closely together as TEG embarks on its next phase of growth and innovation.”

 


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Ticketek launches accessible ticket booking platform

TEG-owned ticketing, data and analytics firm Ticketek is rolling out an online accessible ticket booking platform, with the aim to make purchasing tickets easier for people with disability and their companions, family and friends.

The Australian firm’s bespoke digital solution enables customers to choose specific seats within a venue to match their needs and buy both accessible and non-accessible tickets within the same transaction.

There are several types of accessible seating available through the new digital platform, including for customers who use wheelchairs, require easy access, have a vision impairment or use a hearing loop. Companion tickets can also be purchased – allowing fans with disabilities to redeem a complimentary companion ticket for any seat within a venue.

Accessible seating can now be booked online for selected events at more than 30 venues including Allianz Stadium (NSW), Suncorp Stadium (QLD) and Sidney Myer Music Bowl (VIC). The digital booking option will be gradually rolled out to other venues where Ticketek is the authorised ticketing provider.

“At Ticketek, we believe that all Australians should have equal opportunities to attend their favourite events”

Ticketek says it has listened to customer feedback and consulted with government bodies, industry partners, and advocacy groups including Spinal Life Australia and the Physical Disability Council of NSW to improve the booking experience of people with disability, which accounts for around 1 in 6 (18%) or 4.4 million people in Australia.

“At Ticketek, we believe that all Australians should have equal opportunities to attend their favourite events,” says Cameron Hoy, managing director Ticketek. “Offering an ideal purchasing experience for accessible seating is a project we hold close to our hearts. We are aware that the process has not been as easy as it should be to date, so we are delighted to be delivering this improved experience for fans and their companions.

“Our engineers have built a truly world-class and equitable experience and I could not be more proud of our work and dedication to date. In particular, I would like to thank industry partners, advocacy groups Spinal Life Australia and the Physical Disability Council of NSW and the many customers who have assisted us in designing this solution.

“Like all technology, it will continue to evolve over time. Ticketek are committed to work with our partners, advocacy groups and industry stakeholders to ensure our solution continues to meet industry standards, and leverages the latest technology available to facilitate the best user experience for all consumers.”

 


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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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