The German DEAG has, through its British subsidiary Kilimanjaro, 90% of the shares in the British tour operator and promoter UK Live Ltd.
The acquisition complements DEAG’s British live company portfolio, which also includes the ticketing outlet Gigantic Holdings (acquired in 2019) as well as the promoter Flying Music Group (acquired in 2017) and the Scottish Belladrum Festival (acquired in 2018) .
In 2014 DEAG acquired 51% of the shares in Stuart Galbraiths Kilimanjaro. At the beginning of the year Kilimanjaro participated in Collective Form and last year launched the Singular Artists joint venture in Ireland.
UK Live has been an established event organizer for more than 10 years and is one of the largest independent promoters in the UK.
In recent years the company has organized concerts with artists such as Craig David, Kim Wilde, Rick Astley and the Kaiser Chiefs. The portfolio also includes the Let’s Rock music festival in 14 cities in Great Britain.
UK Live co-founders and directors Nick Billinghurst and Matt Smith remain on board as shareholders. DEAG says the duo will “continue to run the company in the long term”.
Detlef Kornett, Member of the Management Board of DEAG, said: “In view of the positive development of the vaccination situation in our core markets, we expect our business activities to normalize more and more in the coming months. We are already setting the course for a continuation of our successful business development and with the acquisition of UK Live we can further expand our strong market position in Great Britain.
“UK Live has its own productions and independently covers the entire infrastructure from stage construction to technology. By focusing on the home market, UK Live’s business activities will hardly be affected by Brexit. The partnership with UK Live offers us potential, especially for our ticketing and live entertainment business. For example, we will be selling tickets to live events in the UK exclusively through Gigantic.com. “
“We are already setting the course for a continuation of our successful business development and with the acquisition of UK Live we can further expand our strong market position in Great Britain.”
Detlef Kornett, DEAG
Stuart Galbraith, CEO of Kilimanjaro, said: “The acquisition of UK Live adds attractive events and concerts to our event portfolio. Nick Billinghurst and Matt Smith have many years of experience in the live entertainment industry and have shaped UK Live from the start with Let’s Rock The Moor with 1,000 visitors into a successful company with over a dozen festivals and countless concerts within just a few years.
“Today, [UK Live’s] Four series of events alone – Let’s Rock, Penn Fest, Friday Night Live Norwich and Sunday Sessions – attract over 200,000 visitors annually. “
Nick Billinghurst, Managing Director of UK Live, commented: “We are very excited about our future collaboration with DEAG and look forward to driving our growth path together. With DEAG, we have a strong partner at our side, with whom we are ideally positioned for the time after Corona.
“Together we will soon be presenting top-class concerts and events to our audience again. I am sure that both sides will benefit from our merger in the long term. “
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced this week that the UK’s full “reopening” – including large-scale music gatherings – has been delayed by four weeks from its scheduled June 21st to July 19th.
The UK live music industry described the delay as “devastating”.
Greg Parmley, CEO of UK live music industry trading organization LIVE, said: “The briefing we are seeing about delaying our reopening later this month is devastating for the live music industry. Our research shows that a one-month delay leads to the cancellation of over 5,000 scheduled events that are costing our industry hundreds of millions of pounds.
“Live music fears it will be left behind and irreversibly damaged as countries like the Netherlands, Denmark, Israel, the United States and Belgium announce that they will host large, full-capacity live events this summer.”
“The government said the event research program would give us the evidence we need to open it safely. We have spent the past three months attending and paying for full capacity pilot events that gave us that proof. To protect the future of our industry, we ask full transparency from the government that they publish the full report proving how we can safely open and work with us to give everyone the summer of music we all want . “
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