Ticketmaster Buys Sherpa

Ticketmaster’s Belgian operation has acquired ticket agent Sherpa.be, although it’s no guarantee that promoters working for its merged partner Live Nation will be putting more business that way.

“Ticketing in Belgium is linked and related to venues and consequently we as promoters have to use the ticketing company that has a contract with the venue where we promote the show,” Live Nation Belgium chief Herman Schueremans explained.

LN promotes most of its, which already uses Sherpa.be as its ticket-seller.

TTS, Belgium’s main ticket agency for concerts, has the contracts for the Lotto Arena in Antwerp and the same city’s .

Any changes that do come regarding which venue uses which particular ticketer are more likely to result from The Sportpaleis Group taking over the running of the Forest National, which was announced last October.

Sherpa.be was founded in 2000 by Hubert Laterre and has established itself as one of the country’s major ticket agencies, specializing in venues that put on stage shows, theatre and musicals. Six years later the company became part of Stage Entertainment but returned to autonomy via a management buyout in 2013.

Laterre will remain within the group as chairman of Ticketmaster Belgium, working alongside Didier Decaestecker, who was appointed as managing director of Ticketmaster Belgium when the company was formed at the beginning of this year.

Ticketmaster launched in Belgium after acquiring full ownership of the Ticketnet platform.

Picking up Sherpa.be will consolidate that position as it currently shifts 1.6 million tickets a year and turns over euro 55 million ($71 million).

Laterre said the move to Ticketmaster is “a great moment” for the company. “Thanks to Ticketmaster, we will be able to explore new opportunities. I’m really looking forward to being part of the team as we enter this new phase of the company,” he said.

Ticketmaster International president Mark Yovich said that with operations in 13 European countries, the expansion in Belgium is another strategic step for the company as it continues to provide the most innovative products and services in the ticketing industry.