StubHub eyes late summer IPO, targeting $16.5B valuation (report)

StubHub, a major player in the online ticket resale market, is reportedly aiming for an initial public offering (IPO) by late summer 2024, targeting a valuation of $16.5 billion.

The Information reported Friday (April 12), citing people close to the company, that StubHub will test investors’ appetite for cash-strapped companies as the firm has piled up more than $2 billion in debt.

Separately, CNBC reported that StubHub has been quietly working with JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs over the past two years on the IPO.

The $16.5 billion valuation target interestingly matches the figure that StubHub secured during its last fundraising round in late 2021.

For perspective, the current market capitalization of competitor Vivid Seats, listed on the NASDAQ, stands at $1.2 billion, while NYSE-listed Live Nation boasts a much larger valuation of $23.3 billion as of April 12.

StubHub, which launched in 2000, was acquired by eBay for $310 million in 2007. However, it was repurchased by its co-founder Eric Baker in 2020 for $4 billion through Switzerland-based secondary ticketing company viagogo.

StubHub’s reported decision to go public comes over two years after viagogo sold StubHub’s business outside North America, including in the UK, to Digital Fuel Capital LLC.

The sale was triggered by competition concerns identified by the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

StubHub’s potential IPO plan also comes amid a period of recovery for the live events industry. The COVID-19 pandemic significantly impacted concert tours, sporting events, and other live gatherings, leading to a decline in ticket sales and a corresponding slowdown for companies like StubHub.

However, with restrictions easing and live events returning in full force, StubHub is likely aiming to capitalize on this renewed demand and position itself for future growth.

The post-pandemic recovery in live events recently resulted in record-breaking ticket sales for artists like Taylor Swift and Beyoncé, leading also to strong revenue for their concert films.

Music Business Worldwide

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