GTCR backs sports ticket distributor Vivid Seats

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Private equity firm GTCR has agreed to invest in Vivid Seats LLC, an independent marketplace for users to buy and sell tickets to sports and entertainment events, alongside existing backer Vista Equity Partners.

Vivid Seats is a Chicago-based company providing a digital portal that allows fans to distribute and exchange live sports, concerts, and theater event tickets. The target offers a 100 percent money back guarantee that tickets are valid and will be delivered in time for the event, with an added clause that a full refund will be provided for events that are canceled and not rescheduled. Vivid Seats is currently selling tickets for a Bruno Mars concert, a Hamilton performance in New York, and a Coldplay concert on its homepage. GTCR’s investment is expected to close in the second quarter of 2017.

GTCR is a Chicago-based investment firm that has invested in more than 200 companies across the financial services and technology, healthcare, and technology, media and telecommunications industries. The firm has invested more than $12 billion in capital since its inception in 1980. GTCR's investments is underlined by the Leaders Strategy, a program that involves "finding and partnering with management leaders in core domains to identify, acquire and build market-leading companies through transformational acquisitions and organic growth." GTCR recently acquired medical device maker Regatta Medical Holdings LLC and won Mergers & Acquisitions' 2013 M&A Mid-Market Private Equity Firm of the Year award.

When it comes to live entertainment, business is booming across the sports and entertainment industries as teams and performers are able to connect directly with their fans through e-commerce. Rather than visiting a box office, the live fan experience is easily accessible through digital and mobile booking. Music promotion companies Live Nation and Ticketmaster merged in January 2010, creating one of the world’s largest concert promoters. In April 2015, Groupon sold mobile ticketing company Ticket Monster, which it purchased from Living Social Inc., to private equity firms Anchor Equity Partners and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. LLP (NYSE: KKR).

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