Advance Publications, Inc. ("Advance"), CVC Capital Partners ("CVC") and Joop van den Ende are pleased to announce today that Advance has agreed to acquire 100% of the shares of Stage Entertainment.
Stage Entertainment is one of the world’s largest theatre producers and owners, operating 20 theatres and partnering with world-renowned creative talent to produce shows attended by over seven million visitors annually. The company entertains audiences in the Netherlands, Germany, Spain, France, Italy, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States. Leading titles include Disney's The Lion King and Aladdin, Mamma Mia!, Mary Poppins, Anastasia and Tina: the Tina Turner Musical. Stage Entertainment employs more than 3,000 people worldwide.
Advance is a family-owned company founded in 1922 that operates and invests in a broad range of media, communications and technology businesses globally. Its European interests include Condé Nast brands such as Vogue, Vanity Fair, GQ and Wired, and Leaders, the sports conference business, as well as video programming brands Eurosport and Discovery through its ownership stake in Discovery. Advance recently embarked on a multi-billion dollar capital redeployment initiative to accelerate diversification while fostering growth and transformation.
Steven Newhouse, Co-President of Advance said: "We are delighted to add Stage Entertainment and its employees to the Advance family of companies. Stage Entertainment has an outstanding track record of bringing world class musicals to audiences worldwide. With our deep roots in creative storytelling and appetite for additional investment, we believe we are the right long-term owner for Stage Entertainment. We are grateful to Joop van den Ende for his creative vision and to CVC for their operational excellence, both of which have positioned Stage Entertainment well for long-term growth. We are delighted that Joop has agreed to remain involved as a Special Advisor to us during this next chapter of the company. We look forward to working with Arthur de Bok and the management team to expand the business while remaining the definitive partner of choice to creators of musical theatre."
Ivo Lurvink, Partner at CVC, added: "Our partnership in Stage Entertainment with Joop van den Ende has helped support the transition of the business from a founder-owned company to the leading integrated musical theatre platform that it is today. We are proud to have played a role in this journey, and wish Advance and the management team every success for the future."
Joop van den Ende commented: "Today marks another milestone in the development of the company I founded in 1998, and it is with great pride that we transition the business to Advance, a long-term strategic shareholder that deeply understands creative businesses and has a long history of partnership with the world's top writers, photographers, illustrators, designers and other creative talent. I strongly believe in the future of musical theatre and fully expect that Advance will ensure Stage Entertainment remains at the forefront of this industry for many years to come."
Arthur de Bok, CEO of Stage Entertainment: "We are very pleased to have Advance as our new shareholder since they have demonstrated strong appreciation for balancing artistic excellence with solid business performance. Advance is completely aligned with our vision for the strategic direction and growth opportunities for Stage Entertainment and we are delighted by their long-term view on the business. We believe they will be a wonderful partner for the next phase of the company's growth. I'd like to take this opportunity to thank CVC and Joop for their support, expertise and guidance in recent years and we are very much looking forward to entering this new phase with Advance."
The transaction has no financing condition and is subject only to customary regulatory approvals, with closing anticipated in Q4 2018. The financial terms of the transaction have not been disclosed. Advance was advised by Citi, CMS and EY and CVC/Joop van den Ende were advised by Goldman Sachs, De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek, Alvarez and Marsal, KPMG/Meijburg and ABN AMRO.