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Volume 26 No. 174
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AEG Now Sole Owner Of AXS After Buying Out Gilbert, TPG

AEG is now the sole owner of ticketing company AXS after agreeing to buy the 62% of the company previously owned by Cavaliers Owner Dan Gilbert and S.F.-based private equity firm TPG Capital. Financial terms were not disclosed. AEG, which owned the other 38% of AXS prior to the deal, is AXS' largest ticketing client. It plans to expand the ticketing company's international operations in Europe and Asia and use the data collected by AXS to tailor individualized experiences for customers at its venues, said company President & CEO Dan Beckerman. He said he hoped the deal would help the U.S. ticketing business to become more like Europe and other international markets, where many venues do not have exclusive ticket system providers. "Whether you are a venue or promoter or a team, having choices when it comes to ticketing is a good thing and everyone in the ecosystem has different needs," Beckerman said. "What a festival needs, versus what a venue needs, versus what a team needs is different." He noted AEG plans to retain AXS' staff and management (Karn Dhingra, THE DAILY).

PATIENCE PAID OFF: BILLBOARD's Dave Brooks reported AEG's purchase "comes after more than a year of negotiation and two unsuccessful bids for AXS by rival ticketing companies." German firm CTS Eventim "looked into a merger or acquisition with AXS but passed after it was clear AEG wouldn't give up" operational control. Startup ticketing company Rival co-Founder & CEO Nathan Hubbard also "made a bid for AXS and, later, he entertained a bid from AXS to buy Rival." However, "neither deal went anywhere." AEG was "able to hold out until it secured favorable conditions to buy Gilbert's group and TPG's shares, which was ready to free up cash and sell the ownership stake in AXS it obtained acquiring Cirque du Soleil" in '15 (BILLBOARD.com, 9/18).