ANDRÉ BÉSHIR’s ABC Production is merging with festivals, booking and concerts consortium wepromote to form a new promoting powerhouse, backed by CTS Eventim.
The German pan-Europe ticketing and promoting behemoth has taken a 60 per cent stake in wepromote Entertainment Group Switzerland, which is the business entity formed by five companies coming together in 2015 (see Audience issue 191).
The five, Zurich-based Gadget, St Gallen-based Incognito Productions, Wildpony in Bern and the teams behind festivals OpenAir St Gallen (cap. 10,000) and SummerDays (12,000), each owned an equal stake.
ABC Production has been majority-owned by CTS since 2013.
The new company, Gadget abc Entertainment Group, will be based in Zurich with wepromote’s five partners owning 40 per cent and form the company’s management team.
Béchir, who founded Good News Productions (which he sold to CTS rival Deutsche Entertainment in 2000, see Audience issue 8) and then ABC, will remain at the company in a consultative role.
Among the new company’s assets are wepromote festivals such as Open Air St Gallen (cap. 30,000), SummerDays Festival (12,000), Seaside Festival (10,000) and Unique Moments (2,900).
“By acquiring majority stakes in Gadget and wepromote, and subsequently merging them with ABC Production, we are efficiently reorganising our business activities in the Swiss live events sector,” says CTS Eventim CEO Klaus-Peter Schulenberg.
“We can thus deliver impressive proof of the great progress we are making in expanding our international promoter network Eventim Live. This means we can offer artists not only two high-performance ticketing systems, but also broader opportunities for international tours and customised solutions – all on a one-stop basis.”
Gadget abc Entertainment’s management team comprises Christof Huber as festival director, Cyrill Stadler as financial director, Eric Kramer and Oliver Rosa as managing partners and Stefan Wyss, overseeing the live events business.
“We have been jointly preparing for this step for quite some time. Due to the involvement of CTS Eventim and our taking over the business of abc Production, we can generate some crucial momentum for further growth,” says Huber.
Béchir adds, “Merging these companies is a logical and consequential step.”
The Eventim Live network now comprises 32 national and international promoters, 40 festivals and around 6,000 live events promoted annually.