DEAG Acquires UK Live Limited Via Kilimanjaro Live
Lorne Thomson/Redferns – Billy Ocean performs at Lets Rock The Moor, May 19, 2018, in Cookham, England.
The self-proclaimed retro festival, which is owned by UK Live, usually takes place in 14 UK cities.
German live entertainment powerhouse DEAG is continuing its international expansion by acquiring 90% of the shares of the British promoter and event organizer UK Live Limited via its subsidiary Kilimanjaro Holdings Ltd.
The UK is DEAG’s most important secondary market. The company acquired a majority stake in ticketing vendor Gigantic Holdings Ltd. in December 2019, which complements its own ticketing operation myticket.co.uk.
DEAG acquired promoter The Flying Music Group in 2017 and Belladrum Festival in Scotland in 2018. In the fall of 2020, DEAG founded the joint venture Singular Artists in Ireland, and in early 2021, also trough its subsidiary Kilimanjaro Live, it acquired a stake in Collective Form Ltd.
The latest acquisition, UK Live, has been an established event promoter in the market for more than 10 years. In recent years, the company organized concerts by artists including Craig David, Kim Wilde, Rick Astley and the Kaiser Chiefs.
It owns music festival “Let’s Rock”, which usually takes place in 14 cities in the UK, and other events, which together attract more than 200,000 visitors annually. UK Live is also active in the areas of artist booking, stage construction and event technology.
Company founders and managing directors of UK Live, Nick Billinghurst and Matt Smith, will stay on board as shareholders and will continue to manage the company in the long term.
Because UK Live is focused exclusively on the domestic UK market, its business remains largely unaffected by Brexit, according to Detlef Kornett, member of DEAG’s executive board.
Kornett commented, “In view of the positive development with regard to the vaccination situation in our core markets, we expect to see our business activities increasingly return to normal in the coming months. We are already setting the course for a continuation of our successful business development and can further expand our strong market position in the UK with the acquisition of UK Live.
“UK Live has its own productions and independently covers the complete infrastructure from stage set-up to technology. By focusing on the domestic market, UK Live’s business activities are hardly affected by the Brexit. The partnership with UK Live offers us potential, especially for our ticketing and live entertainment business. For example, we will offer tickets for UK Live events for sale exclusively through Gigantic.com.”
Stuart Galbraith, CEO of Kilimanjaro, added, “The acquisition of UK Live adds attractive events and concerts to our events portfolio. Nick Billinghurst and Matt Smith have many years of experience in the live entertainment industry and have shaped UK Live from its early days with ‘Let’s Rock The Moor’ with 1,000 visitors to a successful company with over a dozen festivals and countless concerts within only a few years.
“Today, the four series of events ‘Let’s Rock, Penn Fest, Friday Night Live and Sunday Sessions’ alone attract over 200,000 visitors annually. We are particularly looking forward to working with Nick, Matt and the UK Live team on the next phase of growth for these brilliant festivals.”
Nick Billinghurst commented: “We are very excited about our future collaboration with DEAG and look forward to driving our growth journey together. With DEAG, we have a strong partner on our side, with whom we are ideally positioned for the post-corona era.
“Together we will soon be presenting our audience with top-class concerts and events again. I am sure that both sides will benefit from our merger in the long term.”