Superstruct Acquired by Investment Firm KKR

Victorious 2022. Pic: Brian Bacher

Superstruct, the world’s second largest festival operator, has been acquired by global investment firm, KKR, from Providence Equity Partners. Details of the deal were not disclosed but a valuation of €1.3bn had been previously reported.

Since its establishment in 2017 by Providence, Superstruct has grown organically and through acquisitions into one of the world’s premier live entertainment groups. Their portfolio includes festivals, such as Wacken Open Air, Defqon.1, Parookaville, Sziget, Tinderbox, Boardmasters, Kendal Calling, Bluedot, Truck, Victorious, Tramlines and Sónar.

In a statement, KKR stated that demand for live entertainment has grown significantly over the past decade and is expected to continue to expand, as consumer spending continues to shift from goods towards experience. KKR will support Superstruct in its next phase of development as one of the key players in a highly fragmented sector that continues to grow, expand and professionalise, whilst preserving the creative and cultural DNA of the Company.

As part of the transaction, Providence has an option to invest €250 million into Superstruct.

Philipp Freise, Partner and Co-Head of European Private Equity and Franziska Kayser, Partner at KKR, said: “We are delighted to partner with Roderik Schlösser, James Barton and the team at Superstruct who have established themselves as a leader in delivering unparalleled live music experiences globally. With a robust foundation as a top-tier live entertainment platform, we see significant growth opportunities ahead for Superstruct. Drawing on our strong partnership approach and experience in the digital entertainment and ticketing space, such as BMG, ProSiebenSat1, GetYourGuide, and Trainline, as well as KKR’s global resources and extensive network, we will support the company and its entrepreneurial team to bring their compelling portfolio of live event formats to a wider audience and drive further growth.”

Andrew Tisdale, Senior Managing Director and Daniel Zwicky, Director at Providence Equity Partners, said: “We are incredibly proud of the rapid growth and success Superstruct has achieved since its inception. With Providence’s backing, Superstruct has become a truly exceptional live entertainment company. In particular, we believe the Company’s resilience and emergence from the global pandemic as a stronger business is testament to the entrepreneurial spirit of Roderik Schlösser, James Barton and the impressive management team. We are confident that with KKR’s support, Superstruct will continue to thrive.”

Roderik Schlösser, CEO and James Barton, Chairman of Superstruct Entertainment said: “The founding vision for Superstruct was to create a natural home for successful entrepreneurs, creative visionaries, and business-minded professionals in live entertainment. We wanted to create a network of influence setting the standards for live experiences. Through our development, we are a leader in the professionalization of this industry, enabling our dedicated teams to excel in a collaborative and inspiring environment and create and deliver best-in-class events for millions of fans. We are proud to have secured the backing of KKR, whose expertise and network will strengthen our ability to scale and innovate in the vibrant experiential economy. We would like to thank Andrew Tisdale, Daniel Zwicky and the team at Providence for their outstanding support. Their belief in Superstruct has been fundamental to our success.”

KKR has an extensive European track record and operational experience in developing regional platform businesses in the consumer and TMT sectors, including investments in Trainline, GetYourGuide, Mediawan/Leonine, ProSiebenSat1, GfK and Axel Springer. With its investment in Superstruct, KKR will draw from direct experience working with independent music businesses, including global music company BMG.