CTS cements concert focus with Four Artists buy
Following an 11.9% fall in turnover last year, CTS Eventim, Europe’s largest ticket agency, has bolstered its live entertainment division with the acquisition of another concerts business, Four Artists – its second new venture of 2017.
A decline in revenues from live entertainment – described as “expected, mainly due to fewer major tours” – was the only disappointing aspect to CTS’s 2016 results, which otherwise saw strong growth of 14.1% and the more than doubling of dividends, to €0.98 per share.
The acquisition, through its Medusa subsidiary, of a majority stake in Four Artists, a promoter and booking agency focusing on international and German-language hip hop, rock and pop, follows the establishment of Vaddi Concerts, headed up by ex-Koko director Marc Oßwald, in January.
Four Artists’ roster of close to 300 artists includes Seeed, The Lumineers, Scooter, Joris, Charles Bradley, Jimmy Eat World, Marteria, Rea Garvey and company co-founders Die Fantastischen Vier, and it promotes more than 2,000 shows a year. It also co-organises a number of festivals, including Magnetic in Saarbrucken, Sputnik Spring Break in Leipzig and Fritz Deutschpoeten in Berlin.
“Our focus continues to be on finding and building up exceptional national and international talent. We are convinced this new partnership will bring considerable benefit for our artists”
CTS Eventim CEO Klaus-Peter Schulenberg says the buy-out “broadens [our] event portfolio, especially with regard to German artists and younger target groups”. He comments: “We are very happy we were able to convince Four Artists and [managing director] Alex Richter to join forces with CTS Eventim. Alex Richter and his team have demonstrated strong aptitude and intuition to identify and build new talent. Together we stand for continued sustainable growth.”
Richter (pictured), who stays on as MD, adds: “We – Die Fantastischen Vier, their management and I – look very much forward to becoming part of Medusa group with Four Artists. We were looking for a partner that shares our views on the live entertainment business and is ready to implement our strategy of quality and sustainability together with us.
“Our focus continues to be on finding and building up exceptional national and international talent. We are convinced this new partnership will bring considerable benefit for our artists and look forward to close cooperation with CTS Eventim in the future. Our special thanks go to Klaus-Peter Schulenberg, who made it clear from the start he understands our approach and philosophy and is willing to personally support it.”
CTS Eventim launches new concert business
Marc Oßwald, until recently the sole remaining director of troubled German promoter Koko & DTK Entertainment, has jumped ship for CTS Eventim, where he will head up new subsidiary Vaddi Concerts.
The hiring of Oßwald by Eventim brings to an end the story of Koko, which closed its Constance headquarters in November following the departure of co-founders Dieter Bös and Armin Nissel. At the time, Oßwald was optimistic for the future of Koko, saying it would soon announce the “first top acts” for the 2018 festival season, but confirmed to MusikWoche yesterday the company will soon go into liquidation.
Bremen-based CTS Eventim has started 2017 with a bang, bolstering its presence in Sweden with the hiring of veteran promoter Jay Sietsema to manage its Venuepoint JV with Egmont and establishing a new sponsorship division headed by Live Nation’s former president of Europe, Simon Lewis.
CTS Eventim grew turnover from ticketing 11.6% in quarters one to three of 2016 – its most recently available financial results – but live entertainment revenues fell slightly compared to 2015 (due to what it called a “lower number of major tours” last year). It will be hoping the launch of Vaddi Concerts goes some way to reversing that trend.
“Marc Oßwald’s experience and network will help us to quickly develop Vaddi Concerts into a major force in the south-west German live event scene”
Joining Oßwald as co-managing director of Vaddi will be Frithjof Pils, Eventim’s director of new business. The pair will, says, the company, oversee a “wide-ranging event programme in Baden-Wuerttemberg and the surrounding regions in Bavaria, Austria, Switzerland and France.”
Vaddi Concerts is headquartered in Freiburg and will open a second office in the university town of Tuebingen in September.
“I’m looking forward to the new challenge as a part of the CTS Eventim group,” comments Oßwald. “We will build a strong team which will ultimately benefit the whole region.”
Pils adds: “We are happy to have won, with Marc Oßwald, another outstanding promoter for our activities. His experience and network will help us to quickly develop Vaddi Concerts into a major force in the south-west German live event scene.”