BDO has advised the shareholders of UK promoter and event organiser UK Live on the acquisition of 90% of its shares by Kilimanjaro Holdings Limited, the UK subsidiary of DEAG Deutsche Entertainment Aktiengesellschaft ("DEAG"), the Hamburg-listed leading entertainment service company and provider of live entertainment in Europe.
UK Live has been established in the market as an event promoter for more than 10 years and is one of the largest independent promoters in the UK. In recent years, the company has organised concerts with well-known music stars such as Craig David, Kim Wilde, Rick Astley and the Kaiser Chiefs, as well as the renowned music festival "Let's Rock" in 14 cities in the UK. Today, its four series of events “Let’s Rock, Penn Fest, Friday Night Live and Sunday Sessions” alone attract over 200,000 visitors annually. UK Live is also active in the areas of artist booking, stage construction and event technology via its partner network and broadly diversified portfolio.
The 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. As a result of the acquisition, and the strength and experience of both brands, the parties expect collaboration to bring positive synergies and drive growth in the live entertainment and events industry, and to be ideally positioned for the post-COVID-19 era.
“BDO’s experience within the sector and expertise has added huge value throughout the process. We’ve really enjoyed working with the team and overall we’re very pleased we chose them as our adviser. I would have no hesitation in recommending them to other event owners or operators considering their options for the future”.
Nick Billinghurst, Founder, UK Live Limited
"This transaction is testament to UK Live’s hard work, energy and creative ability to run highly successful fun-filled events which are enjoyed up and down the country. This deal will allow the team to benefit from the weight of experience and expertise of Kilimanjaro/DEAG and furthermore highlights the confidence in the long terms prospects of the live events sector."
Jim Fieldhouse, Managing Director, M&A, BDO