Power Looks For Festival Investors

Festival promoter Vince Power may look to the stock market to raise £10 million toward buying European music events, according to the Sunday Times.

The former Mean Fiddler chief, who holds a large share of Spain’s Benicassim Festival and a major share of the UK’s Hop Farm, confirmed he was looking at a number of strategic options and told the paper “a stock market flotation is one of them.”

A listing being handled by Merchant Securities reportedly values Power’s festival business at up to £25 million, although the financial services and investment management company will need to attract an offer that also meets with the approval of fellow Irish promoter Denis Desmond, The Workers Beer Company and the other private investors that teamed with Power to buy Benicassim.

In 2006, the largely Irish consortium bought 80 percent of the Spanish festival from José Luis and Miguel Morán of Maraworld, who established the event in 1995. A couple of years later it snapped up the remaining 20 percent.

Prior to selling the Mean Fiddler empire to LN-Gaiety – a joint venture between Live Nation and Desmond – for £37.9 million in 2005, Power had an uneasy relationship with the stock exchange.

The previous fall he’d all but sold his Mean Fiddler holding to institutional investors and stood down. But boardroom wrangles between other Fiddler directors and a city-appointed chief exec caused the deal to collapse. Power was back at his desk within days.

Last year he is said to have lost £8 million when his bars and club business went into administration, but he later bought it back for £800,000.