Vivendi to sell See Tickets and festival business to live music giant CTS Eventim

In September, Paris-headquartered multinational media giant Vivendi was reported to be in talks with advisers about a potential sale of its live-events ticketing and festivals businesses.

The sale involves two businesses within its Vivendi Village subsidiary: the UK-headquartered See Tickets and Vivendi Village’s festivals division, which operates multiple live events in the UK and Europe.

In December, the Financial Times reported that bids for See Tickets had been submitted by Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) and Germany-headquartered live music giant CTS Eventim.

On Tuesday (April 2), the latter company emerged as the winner in the race to acquire See Tickets. Vivendi announced that it has signed a put option agreement to sell its international ticketing and festival businesses to CTS Eventim.

Vivendi said on Tuesday that the transaction “should be completed in the coming months after consultation of the employee representative bodies concerned”.

In December, citing two sources, the FT reported that Vivendi was targeting up to €300 million (USD $324m) as the sale price for See Tickets.

See Tickets is described by Vivendi as the number two ticketing provider in the UK and “a successful actor in other markets”.

In addition to the UK, the business that CTS Eventim is set to acquire also operates in seven other countries in Europe (Belgium, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, and Switzerland), and in the US.

Vivendi says that its performance venue activities in France, including L’Olympia in Paris, as well as See Tickets France and Brive Festival, are not part of this agreement.

Globally, See Tickets sold about 44 million tickets in 2023, according to Vivendi.

Vivendi reports that the ticketing and festival businesses that CTS Eventim is set to acquire collectively produced €137 million ($148.26m) in revenues in 2023.

The ticketing business generated roughly €105 million ($113.63m) of that, with the UK market responsible for the largest share, followed by the US market.

The festival business included in the deal generated an additional €32 million ($34.63m ) in 2023, according to V ivendi.

With CTS Eventim, Vivendi says that it “has found a fitting new home for its festival and international ticketing activities”.

See Tickets has been a key player in the UK live events sector since the 1990s, originating from the transition of Nottingham-based record shop Way Ahead Records into live event ticket sales, followed by a rebranding as See Tickets.

Vivendi acquired the business in September 2011 for €96 million, incorporating it into its live entertainment and ticketing subsidiary, Vivendi Village, alongside venues like L’Olympia concert hall and L’Oeuvre theater in Paris.

“We at Vivendi are convinced that CTS EVENTIM will be the right company to bring our ticketing and festival activities to new heights,

Hala Bavière, Vivendi Village

Hala Bavière, CEO of Vivendi Village and member of the Executive Committee of Vivendi, said: “I am proud of what has been accomplished over more than a decade and extremely grateful for the strong dedication of all the teams involved.

“We at Vivendi are convinced that CTS Eventim will be the right company to bring our ticketing and festival activities to new heights, supporting See Tickets to remain a state-of-the-art company in services and technology, while fostering the growth of the festivals and preserving their unique identities and audience.”

“With See Tickets and its festival operations, Vivendi has established two notable players in the ticketing and live entertainment sector.”

Klaus-Peter Schulenberg, CTS EVENTIM

Klaus-Peter Schulenberg, CEO, of CTS Eventim, said: “With See Tickets and its festival operations, Vivendi has established two notable players in the ticketing and live entertainment sector.”

He added: “I’d like to thank Vivendi for the productive negotiations, which have created a strong foundation for success in an industry enjoying robust growth across Europe.

“The acquisition supports our internationalization strategy and will also benefit artists and their managers, as we will be able to offer even more seamless services on a global scale.

“We look forward to collaborating with our new colleagues on shaping the future of live entertainment.”

Vivendi SA is one of the world’s most prominent media conglomerates, controlling Groupe Canal+, a group of film and TV production companies and TV channels, operating primarily in France, as well as in Poland.

Vivendi also owns the France-based multinational advertising company Havas, as well as video platform Dailymotion.

Vivendi was the parent company of Universal Music Group (UMG) until UMG’s listing on the Euronext Amsterdam stock exchange in 2021. At that time, Vivendi spun off 60% of Universal on the Euronext Amsterdam, retaining a 10% share.

In February, CTS Eventim reported a 22.5% jump in revenue in FY 2023 to reach a record EUR €2.359 billion (USD $2.74 billion), up from €1.926 billion in 2022.

CTS Eventim said in its preliminary 2023 results that its forecast for the full year, which had been raised in October 2023, was significantly exceeded. In the first half of 2023, the company’s revenue reached €1.021 billion, a 39% YoY increase.

Music Business Worldwide

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