Silver Lake to start looking for buyers for entertainment and ticketing giant TEG (report)

TED CEO Geoff Jones

Silicon Valley-based technology investment firm Silver Lake is preparing a sale of Australia-headquartered live entertainment and ticketing company TEG, over three years after its acquisition.

The news was reported by The Australian on Monday (February 13), citing sources, with investment bank Jefferies reportedly tapped to handle the sale.

Silver Lake is reportedly planning to sell TEG via an auction targeting private equity firms and will reportedly start looking for buyers in April.

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

The Australian report came over two weeks after the Australian Financial Review reported that Jefferies is warming up private equity funds for a TEG sale in the coming months.

AFR, which also cited sources, said on January 30 that bankers were preparing big global buyout funds for the upcoming auction.

It is unclear how much TEG would be valued in the latest auction, but AFR reported that firms without the capacity to spend north of $2 billion will not qualify.

Buyers will also have to have offices globally that can watch TEG’s progress, AFR reported. The newspaper added that bankers have already reached out to the likes of The Carlyle Group, Blackstone, TPG Capital and other bigwigs for TEG’s auction.

Silver Lake acquired TEG in October 2019 from funds advised by Affinity Equity Partners (S) Pte Ltd and its affiliates for an undisclosed sum. Sources told The Music Network at the time that TEG was valued at over $1 billion during the sale.

What attracted Silver Lake to TEG was its “innovative and integrated ticketing, content, digital marketing and analytics platform,” that according to Silver Lake Managing Director Stephen Evans, was “well positioned to continue to benefit from increasing consumer demand worldwide.”

Before TEG was transferred to the hands of Silver Lake, Affinity bought the firm from Nine Entertainment for AUS $640 million ($443 million at current rates) in 2015. 

TEG operates a number of businesses in the live events, sports and ticketing space. Its subsidiaries include TEG Live, TEG Sport, TEG Experiences, TEG Dainty, SXSW Sydney, TEG Van Egmond, TEG Rockefeller, Qudos Bank Arena, Ticketek, Softix, TicketCharge, TicketWorld, Ticketek Singapore and Ovation.

Prior to its sale to Silver Lake, TEG bought UK-based event promoter and venue operator, The MJR Group.

Most recently in 2022, TEG launched TEG Europe, appointing concerts veteran Toby Leighton-Pope as its managing director. Leighton-Pope previously served as co-CEO of AEG Presents UK.

However, just months after the acquisition, TEG’s business was hammered by the COVID-19 pandemic that swept through the global live events sector.

TEG joined a nationwide campaign in its home market of Australia in 2021, urging people to get vaccinated against COVID-19 to bring back live events.

TEG Managing Director Tim McGregor said current outbreaks made it “incredibly challenging if not impossible” to see live events taking place, The Sydney Morning Herald reported in September 2021.

The potential sale of TEG comes as live events have bounced back from the COVID-19 pandemic amid pent-up demand.

TEG rival Live Nation posted a 63% year-over-year jump in revenue in the third quarter of 2022 to $6.15 billion, as it delivered what it described as the “biggest summer concert season in history.”

“Fans around the world continue prioritizing their spend on live events, particularly concerts,” Live Nation President and CEO Michael Rapino said in November.

Music Business Worldwide