Waterland acquires 6 Nordic live entertainment companies and creates independent market leader
The new independent market leader in Nordic live entertainment – All Things Live – is established with Waterland Private Equity as the majority shareholder following the acquisition of six leading companies ICO Concerts, ICO Management and Touring (Denmark), Friction and Atomic Soul Booking (Norway) as well as Blixten & Co and Maloney Concerts (Sweden). The All Things Live partnership will have combined annual revenue of around EUR 85 million and approximately 70 employees in Denmark, Norway and Sweden.
“Together with our great Norwegian and Swedish colleagues, we have created a series of memorable live experiences in recent years, and we are excited to join forces in All Things Live to strengthen our collaboration with a view to providing an even better offering to artists and fans across the Nordics,” says Pernille Møller Pedersen who is a co-owner of ICO Concerts and ICO Management and Touring together with Kim Worsøe, who adds: “Waterland has played a key role in the formation of this collaboration, and we look forward to leveraging their experience from other growth cases and capturing the opportunities in our markets in the coming years.”
As an independent player with strong local expertise in the Nordics, All Things Live will offer a range of activities across the live entertainment value chain including agency services, promotion and production.
“This is a natural next step for our businesses as we have always had a shared vision of creating great events based on our independence and deep local expertise. In All Things Live, we will be able to build significant scale, reach more people and attract more great artists going forward,” says Peer Osmundsvaag, founder of Friction and Atomic Soul Booking.
Co-owner of Friction, Mark Vaughan, adds: “We see an exciting future ahead of us in this strong partnership, which will be key player on the Nordic live entertainment scene going forward. Our dedicated employees will maintain their attention to detail and continue to attract local acts and international shows as part of the new setup.”
The partnership will cover the full spectrum from local Norwegian acts over Swedish musical productions and Danish stand-up events to stadium concerts with international artists such as The Rolling Stones, Green Day and Eminem. All Things Live will represent 140 local artists on exclusive contracts, promote almost 3,000 local and international events with more than 1 million tickets sold per year and continue to grow its current portfolio of 15 partnerships with large corporate clients.
“With the strategic and financial support of Waterland, we will be able to combine our in-depth knowledge and experience from our respective markets and accelerate growth as the leading independent entertainment player in the Nordics. This move will entail a lot of opportunities, and our business partners can rest assured that we remain dedicated to providing personal service and local expertise, while expanding our international reach together,” says Leif “Blixten” Henriksson, founder of Blixten & Co.
“We look forward to intensifying the collaboration among these great companies and strengthening our financial capabilities as part of the new partnership, which will drive value for audiences and artists on the Nordic scene,” says David Maloney, founder of Maloney Concerts.
The European market for live entertainment exceeds EUR 10 billion with annual growth rates of around 5% driven by artists’ increasing focus on live performances and the emergence of the experience economy, which has shifted large consumer groups’ preference from physical goods to live experiences. All Things Live will benefit from these trends and pursue additional revenue and earnings growth by leveraging the independent companies’ combined network, expanded geographical presence and increased fan reach as well as scale advantages.
“We see great prospects in these entrepreneurial companies, their management teams and employees as well as in the attractive live entertainment market. We are entering into this partnership and the formation of All Things Live to drive organic growth and further consolidation of the industry, and we will contribute to the development of the business with our strategic toolbox and extensive practical experience. This investment in these six companies is our second in the Nordic region after our office opening in Copenhagen in 2017, underlining our focus on expanding Waterland’s activities in the region,” says Kaspar Kristiansen, Managing Director, Waterland Nordic.
The transaction does not entail changes for customers, partners, day-to-day management or employees in the six independent and continuing companies, as market proximity remains a key focus area for the All Things Live partnership. The parties have agreed not to disclose price or additional details of the transaction.