Private equity firms Blackstone and CVC eye European festivals organizer Superstruct (report)

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European festival organizer Superstruct Entertainment is attracting the attention of major private equity firms, with Blackstone and CVC reportedly considering bids.

This potential sale could value the company, known for events like Spain’s Sonar and the Netherlands’ Mysteryland, at GBP £1.5 billion ($1.87 billion), Reuters reported Thursday (April 11), citing “several sources with knowledge of the situation.”

The resurgence of live music festivals could be the driving force behind the potential sale. With COVID restrictions easing, live music events have staged a comeback, making them an attractive investment opportunity.

Owner Providence Equity Partners has reportedly enlisted advisers at Liontree and HSBC to gauge interest from potential buyers and are expected to launch a formal auction process next month.

Back in July 2023, Reuters reported that Superstruct was in “the early stages” of being prepped for a sale, with private equity firms interested in the company.

Blackstone and CVC are not the only parties interested in Superstruct. Reuters reports that Condé Nast owner Advance Publications, known for publications like Vogue and The New Yorker, has also shown interest. This interest might be fueled by Advance’s recent success with Reddit‘s IPO, suggesting a potential strategy of diversifying their media portfolio.

Beyond these three, private equity giants KKR and EQT are also reportedly circling Superstruct. This potential competition for ownership suggests investors’ strong appetite for the live music market.

Founded in 2017 with seed funding from Providence and led by former Live Nation president James Barton, Superstruct has grown its business through strategic acquisitions across Europe and Australia. The company now operates 80 large-scale festivals and 200 smaller events including Germany’s Wacken Open Air rock festival and Dutch electronic dance music festival Mysteryland.

This expansion has translated to a healthy financial performance, with annual earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) exceeding €100 million ($106 million).

Elsewhere, Reuters reports, citing people with knowledge of the matter, that private equity firm Silver Lake is nearing the sale of Australian live events and ticketing group TEG, which could fetch about AU$2 billion ($1.28 billion).

Specluation about a sale of TEG emerged last year, with The Australian reporting in February 2023 that Silver Lake was in talks with investment bank Jefferies to handle the sale. Silver Lake was reported to be planning on selling TEG via an auction targeting private equity firms. Silver Lake acquired TEG in October 2019.

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