Possible $322 Million+ Bid Emerges for See Tickets As Vivendi Moves Forward With Divestment Plans

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Nottingham, England, where See Tickets is headquartered. Photo Credit: Nicola Nuttall

Back in September, it emerged that Vivendi was considering offloading See Tickets. Now, the French conglomerate has reportedly received multiple bids for the ticketing-focused subsidiary, for which it’s reportedly seeking around €300 million (currently $322.3 million).

These newest details about the possible divestment, which Vivendi set in motion approximately two years after Universal Music listed on the Euronext Amsterdam, entered the media spotlight in a report from the Financial Times.

When we last checked in on the potential sale, different sources yet relayed that Vivendi was looking to part with its Vivendi Village unit, consisting of See Tickets itself as well as festivals including Love Supreme and Garorock.

In keeping with the just-surfaced price tag, the same unnamed sources also signaled at the time that the transaction would exclude Vivendi venues such as L’Olympia and L’Oeuvre.

Meanwhile, October saw the Paris-headquartered entity, which only recently closed the €653 million ($702.9 million) sale of publishing company Editis, confirm that it had “given an exploratory mandate to a bank to sell its ticketing and festivals businesses.”

Per the aforesaid report, Germany’s CTS Eventim and Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) have already submitted “indicative bids” for See Tickets.

Although additional bidders are expected to come forward sooner rather than later, the mentioned entities appear well-positioned to aggressively pursue the See Tickets buyout. Of course, the Live Nation and Ticketmaster rival AEG owns Coachella and its Goldenvoice organizer, AXS, and much more.

And CTS Eventim, which says some “250 million tickets per year are marketed using” its “systems,” posted double-digit revenue growth for 2023’s opening half. In late November, the Bremen-based business bought ticketing companies in Peru and Chile under a long-running deal with Sony Music Latin Iberia.

Further demonstrating that its expansion ambitions aren’t confined to Europe, the Milan Arena builder today unveiled a joint venture with Outback Presents vet Walter McDonald. Dubbed The Touring Co., the newly minted operation will target the North American market, with McDonald serving as CEO and possessing a minority stake.

Finally, regarding the financials and reach of Nottingham-headquartered See Tickets, the Lagardère majority stakeholder Vivendi attributed €144 million ($154.7 million) in revenue to the overarching Vivendi Village for the first nine months of 2023, down from €169 million ($181.6 million) during the identical period in 2022.

Notwithstanding this falloff, revenue from tickets and festivals improved by about 13 percent to €118 million ($126.8 million), according to Vivendi. During 2023’s third quarter, ticketing and festival revenue, at €56 million ($60.2 million), turned in a comparatively modest increase of roughly one percent amid a €30 million ($32.3 million) year-over-year decrease for Vivendi Village, the earnings report shows.