Sony Wraps ShowTime Deal

Sony Music has purchased a major share in Hungarian live music promoter ShowTime Budapest.

The June 17 confirmation comes just three days after the Budapest Business Journal reported Hungary’s competition office had approved the deal.

It needed competition authority approval because Hungarian takeover law applies checks on all acquisitions made by companies making more than 15 billion Hungarian forints (about $6.6 million) per year.

ShowTime managing director Marton Brady says it will give the company an even more solid base and it opens the possibility offering 360-degree deals to emerging national acts.

“While we are known as a promoter of international acts, we will now also be taking a closer look at the domestic market and doing more show with Hungarian acts,” he explained. He will continue to run the company.

The Sony statement confirming the deal said ShowTime’s support will expand the reach of the company’s entire A&R function around breaking new acts and maximising the careers of its existing artists.

Apart from producing the annual Connection Day event that’s been headlined by acts such as Sting, Elton John, Bryan Adams, and Santana, the 15-year-old ShowTime has also promoted major international artists including The Rolling Stones, Bon Jovi and Britney Spears. Rod Stewart plays this year’s Connection Day June 26.

Marton’s 90 percent share of the company is now reduced to just less than 45 percent and co-shareholder Peter Baksai’s 10 percent share is now less than 5 percent.

Sony Music Hungary managing director Margit Geszti says her company has been working with ShowTime for some time and looks forward the new opportunities this acquisition opens up for the development of the services it can provide for both local and international acts.

Apart from Hungary, Sony also has live music business interests in Germany, France, Spain, Belgium, Italy, Poland, Sweden and Finland.