CTS Eventim And The Merger

Lost in the shuffle around the proposed Live Nation/Ticketmaster merger is Live Nation's jilted partner, CTS Eventim.

Live Nation had pacted with the German promoter late last year with the intention of employing Eventim's robust digital ticketing technology to serve as a foundation for Live Nation's attempts to bring their own ticketing in-house. The 10-year agreement was expected to be a significant source of business for Eventim, with projections an annual increase in ticket sales by 60 million and expanding Eventim on a global scale.

The agreement also appeared at that time, to be a shot across Ticketmaster's bows. Live Nation had long been Ticketmaster's largest client and their decision to bring ticketing operations in-house was a major blow to Ticketmaster, and set up what looked to be a battle of the titans over the future of the ticketing industry.

"This is a monumental step forward in the evolution of Live Nation into a next generation music company. Eventim is the most technologically sophisticated ticketing platform in the world." noted Live Nation's Michael Rapino, at the time of the deal.

Alas, it apparently was not to be. Since the announcement of the intended merger, little has been said officially about the status of the deal.

During an investor conference call, Michael Rapino said "We are looking to honor and work through our CTS relationship and we'll be talking to [CTS exec Klaus-Peter Schulenberg] on how we best maximize and honor that contract to service the customers."

The market reaction to the merger has been less than welcoming and CTS Eventim's share price has dropped from a 26.48 on the day the rumors of the merger started to circle, to a low of 18.77 on the day the merger was announced. Since then however, the stock price has seen a modest rebound, closing at 20.64 yesterday. Live Nation's stock has not fared as well and is off by approximately 30% since the merger was announced while Ticketmaster stock has seen a decline of approximately 20%.

At time of publication, none of the above companies had responded to requests for comment. – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers

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