PROMOTER, VENUES, ticketing and label conglomerate Deutsche Entertainment AG (DEAG) is looking to expand into three new countries, adding to its operations in Germany, Switzerland and the UK.
In an exclusive interview with Audience, DEAG CEO Prof Peter Schwenkow declined to reveal the target territories but says that discussions are taking place with possible partners.
“You can expect further acquisitions in the UK, which will be carried out through [subsidiary] Kilimanjaro Live,” he reveals.
Last month DEAG increased its corporate bond issue by €5 million ($5.7m) to finance further growth.
Already this year the Berlin-base organisation has acquired a majority stake in I-Motion, the German subsidiary of US-based EDM powerhouse LiveStyle (reconstructed from SFX Entertainment) and veteran promoter Michael Drieberg’s Swiss operations Live Music Production (LMP) and Live Music Entertainment (LME).
At the beginning of June, DEAG gained control of Christian Doll’s Stuttgart-based national promoter C2 Concerts, acquiring a 51 per cent stake.
DEAG now owns 50.1 per cent of I-Motion, the organiser of half a dozen major electronic music events, including Nature One (cap. 60,000), Ruhr in Love (45,000) and Mayday (25,000).
Schwenkow said the deal would enable the company to grow internationally and launch Mayday-branded events in Poland, Switzerland and the UK.
LiveStyle president & CEO Randy Phillips says he was “thrilled” to be reunited with DEAG CMO Detlef Kornett, who he worked with at AEG Presents.
“The key execs at I-Motion feel that DEAG is a great fit for them and I know it will be a great partner for LiveStyle in Germany,” he says.
The acquisition of Drieberg’s companies sees DEAG take a significant step into the French-speaking part of Switzerland and both LMP and LME absorbed into AIO Group, the DEAG subsidiary that operates in German-speaking Switzerland and includes promoter Good News Productions.
The deal will see DEAG take control of the Drieberg-run Metropol Theatre (2,000) in Lausanne and the Sion Sous Les Etoiles (40,000) festival.
“By joining forces between Good News and Drieberg’s organisation it puts us in a position to, on the one hand make offers for the whole of Switzerland, and on the other, bring more French-speaking artistes into the German-speaking part of the country, as well as Germany,” says Schwenkow. “There are some French artistes that are highly attractive and could play other markets.”
As well as acquiring C2, which reported a €7m ($8m) turnover in 2018, with around 400,000 tickets sold for 200 shows, DEAG also recently expanded into eSports event promotion with its purchase of a stake in Germany’s Ally4ever Entertainment.