Ticket Master Schulenberg Becomes Billionaire in Germany

Selling tickets to Depeche Mode concerts and the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, has made Klaus-Peter Schulenberg a billionaire.

The founder and chairman of Munich-based CTS Eventim AG, Europe’s largest ticketing service, has seen his fortune soar as shares of Eventim have risen almost 40 percent in the past seven months.

Schulenberg owns half of Eventim, according to the company’s annual report, a stake that is valued at about $975 million based on yesterday’s closing price. He also has collected more than $150 million in dividends and proceeds from stocks sales since the company’s 2000 initial public offering. That gives the 62-year-old a net worth of about $1.1 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

“He wants to be seen as a successful CEO, not as a billionaire,” Hermann Zimmermann, a spokesman for Schulenberg, said in a phone interview.

Eventim, which sells tickets, promotes live events and operates entertainment venues, consolidated its ticket sales business in Germany, according to Stefan Wimmer, an analyst at Bankhaus Metzler in Frankfurt, who has a “buy” rating on the company.

Early Stage

“Eventim was able at an early stage to build an IT-network to connect all the stationary ticket shops,” said Wimmer. “If a promoter then went to the company they could sell their tickets everywhere in Germany.”

The company’s ticketing business, which represents 44 percent of revenues, generated 78 percent of its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, according to its annual report. The promotion and venue business represents 56 percent of revenue and generated 22 percent of its Ebitda.

Through its website and 20,000 locations across Europe, Eventim sold about 100 million tickets to more than 180,000 events last year, its annual report said. It operates entertainment venues and organizes concert tours, festivals and other live events in Germany, Switzerland, Austria and the U.K.

Schulenberg, who lives in Bremen, Germany, entered the music business in 1973, opening an artist management and concert promoting agency while studying economics at the University of Bremen. He expanded into radio stations and newspapers and, in 1996, purchased ticket seller CTS GmbH, according to the company’s website.

Ticket Battle

Eventim sold shares on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange in January 2000, raising $65 million. The company’s shares declined

0.5 percent to 30.46 euros, at 10:42 a.m. in Frankfurt.

The IPO came as the music industry’s profit center moved to live events from recorded music sales, which are expected to fall more than $7 billion to almost $23 billion worldwide in 2017, while sales from live events, such as theater and sporting events, will increase to $31 billion by the same year, according to New York-based consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.

In 2007, the company struck a 10-year contract to provide sales technology to Live Nation Entertainment Inc., the world’s largest concert promoter.

Live Nation terminated the contract three years later, after merging with Ticketmaster Entertainment Inc., the world’s biggest ticket seller. Eventim sued Live Nation before the Paris-based International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce, a case it lost last week.

The judgment, which could’ve awarded as much as $210 million to Eventim, according to Stifel Nicolaus & Co. analyst Benjamin Mogil, probably won’t hurt the company, said Wimmer.

“The outcome wasn’t a disaster,” said Wimmer of the verdict. “They aren’t dependent on the cash.”

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