TEG’s ‘Sledgehammer’ Bankruptcy

Top Dutch singer Marco Borsato has described the bankruptcy of The Entertainment Group BV as a “sledgehammer blow” and told the country’s national TV news that it must be left to the courts to decide if anyone is criminally responsible.

The Hilvershum-based company that Borsato co-founded in 1994 had been under Chapter 11 protection since the middle of September and was declared bankrupt by an Amsterdam court Sept. 22.

Apart from managing Borsato, TEG also represents country singer Ilse DeLange, other popular artists such as Edsilia Rombley and Guus Meeuwis and promotes the annual Symphonica in Rosso shows at Arnhem Gelredome.

TEG’s affairs are being handled by lawyers from Holland van Gijzen in Amsterdam, who have told Pollstar it’s too early to say how much the company has lost.

Some Dutch newspapers have speculated that it’s in the region of euro 26 million ($37.92 million), which would make it by far the largest bankruptcy in the history of the Dutch entertainment business.

The Dutch media has also quoted analysts saying the demise of TEG was a result of sister company LAB Ventures, which runs services including converting air-miles into music videos, incurring huge losses.

In 2008, LAB posted a loss of euro 8 million ($11.66 million). In the same period TEG lost euro 1 million ($1.45 million). TEG has Borsato, his manager Paul Brinks, Unico Glorie and Ajax football club director Rik Van den Boog among its shareholders.

Thousands of fans who bought tickets for this year’s three Symphonica in Rosso shows, which feature Diana Ross, won’t be among the creditors, because Mojo Concerts has stepped in to save two of them.

“Thanks to the support of the Gelredome venue, Mojo Concerts and See Tickets and many colleagues in the industry, we can safeguard the shows,” Borsato said at a press conference at Amsterdam Paradiso Sept. 23. He said canceling the event was “unacceptable” due to the number of fans that have already paid for tickets.

Mojo will promote two shows on Oct. 16-17, while tickets for the Oct. 18 show – which won’t happen – will be valid for the other dates.

Borsato, who reportedly said he’s “numbed by the pain and sorrow” of the bankruptcy of the company he helped form 15 years ago, will perform two shows in the Gelredome to raise money to pay the costs related to the Symphonica shows.

Artists including Guus Meeuwis, Paul de Leeuw, Jan Smit and Trijntje Oosterhuis have announced they will perform free of charge.

Entertainment Group Belgium isn’t believed to be affected by the Dutch company’s collapse, as the two have traded as separate legal and financial entities since May of this year.

TEG Belgium is booking agent for several local acts including Sandrine and Stan van Samang. Three years ago, it also took over the Marktrock open-air festival in Leuven.