About two years after cashing in on Universal Music Group (UMG) with an IPO, French conglomerate Vivendi is reportedly pondering the sale of its See Tickets subsidiary.
The latest divestment plans of the Paris-headquartered business, which over the summer inked a deal to offload publishing company Editis, entered the media spotlight in a report from Sky News. And while execs haven’t publicly confirmed or denied the rumored exploration of a selloff – the process is reportedly expected to initiate “imminently” – the continually strong revenue of live events and ticketing is hardly a secret.
Stateside, Live Nation and its Ticketmaster subsidiary have largely dominated related headlines, with higher-ups having touted April, May, and June of this year as their business’s “strongest second quarter ever.” (The reported revenue jump has been accompanied by several lawsuits, ample criticism, and other less-than-encouraging developments, however.)
But according to Vivendi’s H1 2023 earnings breakdown, See Tickets has also been expanding amid the post-pandemic events boost. Vivendi Village, the conglomerate’s ticketing and festivals division, generated €81 million (currently $85.09 million) during 2023’s opening six months, the appropriate document shows, up about 6.5 percent from H1 2022.
See Tickets itself accounted for approximately 70 percent of the figure, per the same analysis, with 19 million tickets sold during H1 2023 (up from 15 million during H1 2022).
“In the first half of 2023,” the Gameloft parent drove home, “Vivendi Village returned to positive EBITA of €7 million [$7.35 million] (compared to a loss of €3 million [$3.15 million] in the first half of 2022) thanks to the strong growth of See Tickets, the cessation of its concert production activities, and the repositioning of its festivals.”
Back to the aforementioned Sky report, anonymous sources with knowledge of the matter are said to have acknowledged that See Tickets, notwithstanding the above-described growth, is unable to give well-entrenched players like Live Nation and AEG a run for their money.
In any event, as described by the same anonymous sources, the potential divestment would extend to Vivendi Village’s See Tickets and its 11 festivals (among them Love Supreme and Garorock), but not to the operation’s L’Olympia and L’Oeuvre venues or its 18 cinemas and concert venues in Africa.
Worth highlighting in conclusion is that the Broccoli City Festival stakeholder Live Nation’s been on something of an acquisition spree to this point in 2023, buying Hong Kong’s Clockenflap (the 2023 edition of which is scheduled for December), Colombia’s Páramo Presenta, and others.