PE firm Affinity sells Australian ticket booking firm TEG to Silver Lake

Asian private equity firm Affinity Equity Partners is selling its ownership in Australia-headquartered live entertainment and ticketing company TEG to global technology investment company Silver Lake, according to a press statement.

The terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The deal is expected to close later this year. The closing transaction is subject to the approval of the Australian Foreign Investment Review Board.

Goldman Sachs along with King & Wood Mallesons advised TEG on this transaction. Meanwhile, Latham & Watkins and Corrs Chambers Westgarth advised Silver Lake.

Affinity Equity Partners acquired 100 per cent stake in TEG, formerly Nine Live, from its parent company Nine Entertainment for A$640 million ($498 million) in 2015, according to a media report.

The Hong Kong-headquartered PE firm was reportedly seeking to sell TEG since 2018 when it attracted interest from buyout firms such as PAG and TPG Capital and trade buyer eBay. However, a deal did not materialise then, as reported by The Sydney Morning Herald.

TEG operates as the exclusive ticketing provider for over 135 venue and promoter clients. It claims to deliver 30 million tickets annually. The company serves more than 30,000 events that include live sports, concerts, theatre, festivals, and exhibitions across 13 countries.

The company’s senior management team, led by CEO Geoff Jones, will continue to lead the company and remain equity partners post the acquisition by Silver Lake. Furthermore, the partnership with Silver Lake is expected to accelerate TEG’s technology innovation and international expansion.

Silver Lake has over $43 billion of combined assets under management and committed capital. The company’s portfolio of investments generates over $210 billion in annual revenue and employs 370,000 people.

The private equity group was also engaged in a recent deal when Reuters reported that Virgin Australia Holdings Ltd bought back 35 per cent stake in Velocity frequent flyer programme that it does not already own for $481 million from Affinity Equity Partners.