TEG chief Geoff Jones on MJR deal, Ticketek growth & going global
TEG’s new owner will come with fresh funding, technology know-how, wider entertainment content and contacts.
Under private equity firm Silver Lake deals can be made quicker with more acquisitions on the horizon.
The sale, to be green-lighted by Australian regulatory authorities, is expected to pass by year’s end.
But TEG, currently valued in media reports at $1.3 billion, is already making plans to expand its footprint in the UK & Europe, and Asia, CEO Geoff Jones revealed in a media briefing at its HQ on Tuesday (Tuesday, Oct 8).
The first of these will see its ticketing agency Ticketek open launch UK in early 2020.
Said Jones, “Ticketek is currently in Australia and New Zealand. We’re now operating in Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines, where we own the businesses in all those places.”
The UK, he said, “It’s an interesting market. It’s what we call an allocations market, there are no barriers to entry there at all.
“We will take a careful approach, we’ll go in there cautiously and build a solid base.
“We’ve already sold a couple of million tickets in the UK from our exhibition and family content.”
The Ticketek move follows TEG’s acquisition in August of England’s promoter and venue operator MJR Group.
MJR puts on 2,000 shows every year and runs six venues including the club brand Propaganda.
Jones says of MJR Group, “We’re very, very excited. They’re doing really well, they’ve got a spring in their step.
“They got a very high velocity of tours that are going to market.”
He adds: “Now we own venues there, we’ll look for more acquisitions there, which presents us with a pretty good base to more expansion.”
Jones revealed that the MJR Group acquisition has increased attention from companies from that side of the world wanting to do business with TEG.
The global expansion will work around the TEG “integrated model” which has proven to work well in Australia and New Zealand.
“We want to be a good content business company, we think we already are but we can certainly continue to grow that.
“We’ve got a very strong, globally well-known ticketing brand in Ticketek, which we want to expand into different territories and we’ll do the same thing.
“And we’ve got a strong digital and data analytics capability that we think is also something that we can easily transport into new territories.”
The company around 30 million tickets each year across 13 countries the Asia-Pacific region.
Closer to home, TEG is eying moves into Hong Kong and India, and expanding music, exhibitions and sports through the region.
This week, one of its tour companies TEG Live is promoting two soccer matches in Singapore.
It involves the Brazil national team playing Senegal on Thursday (Oct 10) and Nigeria on Sunday (Oct 13).
Asked by TMN about challenges in the region, he responds, “Like all businesses, the challenge is too many things to do and not enough means and time to do it.
“We’re pretty proud of the way we’ve been in the Asian market.
“Each Asian territory is a distinct market, with distinct culture and what the market likes.
“We explored the market broadly and we’re really pleased with what we’ve one so far
“We definitely want to do more there.”
In Australia, it’s “business as usual” for TEG Dainty and TEG Live.
Even though the company owns Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney, there are currently no plans to expand further into venue management.
Meantime the Silver Lake-TEG deal is also creating ripples at its previous owner, Asia’s Affinity Equity Partners.
If the agreement goes through, according to the financial media, Affinity return 2.6 times its original investment.
A very healthy payout indeed.