3. Vivid Seats’ active dealmaking
|Geoff Lester last week joined Vivid Seats after only three months at Fox Networks Group.
A larger deal last spring saw Chicago-based private equity firm GTCR acquire a majority equity stake in Vivid Seats, with prior investor Vista Equity Partners and co-founders Jerry Bednyak and Eric Vassilatos maintaining equity positions. Terms were not disclosed, but various reports placed a $1.5 billion valuation on Vivid Seats.
The company has made a quick start in 2018 as it last week named industry veteran Geoff Lester as chief commercial officer. Lester, who will lead the company’s partnerships and business development, spent more than seven years with StubHub and was a key player in many of the company’s significant moves, including the combined primary-secondary ticket offering with the Philadelphia 76ers and a series of MLB team resale integrations. His arrival to Vivid Seats, marking a rare move of a veteran StubHub executive to a rival ticketing entity, signals more dealmaking to come.
“The ability to come and help build their brand and take them to the next level, particularly when I see them now at a big inflection point, was a big part of the allure,” said Lester, who left a job with Fox Networks Group and former colleague Danielle Maged after just three months and with their blessing to take the Vivid Seats role. “You could see us look to build a bigger consumer brand like StubHub did, but I think we would look to go about it in a different way.”