Eventim In Monopoly Probe

After doing its best to block the Live Nation-Ticketmaster merger, German ticketing giant CTS Eventim is now having one of its own deals investigated by the country’s monopoly authority.

The Federal Cartel Office is launching a retrospective probe into the Bremen-based company’s $183.5 million purchase of See Tickets Germany and Ticket Online Group.

The office wants to see detailed information on the deal to determine whether it should have been notified of the deal under the country’s merger control regulations. Eventim says a team of specialist merger lawyers monitored the transaction and concluded no notification was necessary due to the revenue and ownership situation when the transaction took place.

The share purchase agreement and a 12-year exclusive ticketing contract with former owner Stage Entertainment Germany were signed July 5.

“We are confident that, after detailed examination of all the facts, the Federal Cartel Office, will reach the same conclusion as we did,” Eventim chief exec Klaus-Peter Schulenberg said in a statement.

In the fiscal year 2008-2009, See Tickets Germany and Ticket Online Group generated revenues worth $50.9 million. Pre-tax profit was $17.3 million. Eventim chief financial officer Volker Bischoff said cost savings and synergies were worth a further $19 million.

Eventim’s also announced its revenues for the first six months of 2010 are up more than 8.5 percent to $347.2 million. Earnings before interest and tax were up 8.4 percent to $48.7 million.

International expansion and high-margin Internet sales pushed Eventim’s ticket revenues up 21 percent to $104.4 million. The group sold 7.4 million tickets online, 30 percent up on last year. Ticketing earnings before interest and tax were up 6.7 percent to $25.5 million.

Eventim’s promoters, called the Medusa Group, reportedly suffered from the smaller number of top tours in the first half of 2010, although that’s not obvious from the numbers.

The combined efforts of the companies led by Marek Lieberberg, Folkert Koopmans, Peter Rieger, Dirk Becker, Dieter Semmelmann, and Norbert Link – in which Eventim has around a 50 percent stake – produced revenues that were up 5.1 percent to $235 million. Earnings before interest and tax were up 10.3 percent to $23.4 million.

In the first week of July news of the See Tickets deal spiked Eventim’s shares to euro 42.3 ($54.2) – the highest it’s been in 10 years – but it’s since fallen away to close at euro 34.96 ($44.79) on the Frankfurt exchange Sept. 2.