Viagogo’s long entanglement with the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority is officially over, as the Switzerland-based resale marketplace found a buyer for StubHub’s business outside of North America. Digital Fuel Capital LLC has agreed to purchase the StubHub entities in the UK, EU, and other markets, which was a requirement put in place by the regulator to allow its merger with StubHub to close, which took place on September 3. Viagogo now owns StubHub in its core North American market, while StubHub will continue to compete with Viagogo in other markets.
“We are pleased to confirm that a buyer for StubHub International has been approved by thye UK Competition and Markets Authority,” says Cris Miller, Vice President of Business Development for Viagogo. “This ends the investigation into the highly anticipated merger of viagogo and StubHub North America, which is now allowed to proceed.”
“We appreciate the role of the CMA in bringing the merger to this conclusion, and we look forward to sharing more details about the integration of the two companies with our loyal customers and partners soon.”
Digital Fuel Capital is a Massachusetts-based investment company that focuses on the acquisition of “leaders in defensible e-commerce segments,” of which StubHub’s international business certainly qualifies. Other companies in its portfolio include Renovation Brands, Seattle Coffee Gear, Summit Sports and Artifact Uprising. It purportes to “provide both capital and in-house strategic and operational resources to help our companies succeed.”
“We are thrilled to become the new owners of StubHub International,” says Digital Fuel President Carson Biederman. “After a long time and process, the teams in London, Madrid, Bilbao and Berlin will now form a new independent company. Together, we look forward to growing StubHub International as an agile and competitive ticket marketplace focused on helping fans access live experiences and transfer tickets securely.” Wayne Grierson, General Manager of StubHub International said: “It is our mission to help fans access incredible experiences. We are excited to become independent, as we help fans return to concerts, theatres and stadiums.”
Terms of the sale were not announced.
Viagogo purchased StubHub from eBay for approximately $4 billion back in January of 2020, reuniting CEO Eric Baker with the company he co-founded before departing at its sale to eBay. But the CMA put a hold on the transaction due to concern over the fact that the two market leaders in uncapped ticket resale would become the same company. Viagogo got the OK from the regulator to resolve the concerns by selling off the non-North American StubHub entities earlier this year, finally closing the loop with this transaction. Now, StubHub in North America will be owned and operated as a subsidiary to Viagogo, while its businesses operating in the UK, Germany, France, Spain and other international markets will be run under the Digital Fuel umbrella.
“As the live events industry emerges from the Coronavirus pandemic, stiff competition in the ticketing market is needed more than ever and viagogo will continue to take its vital role in the live events industry very seriously,” Miller says. “viagogo and StubHub will always remain committed to working with regulators while providing secure platforms for people to buy and sell tickets to events around the world.”