A ticket to success: Guiding TicketSellers through their acquisition by Citizen Ticket

A ticket to success: Guiding TicketSellers through their acquisition by Citizen Ticket

Reflecting a well-planned and executed strategy, leading ticketing and event management platforms, TicketSellers and its subsidiary Eventree were acquired by Citizen Ticket in a multiple seven-figure deal.

TicketSellers, known for servicing major festivals such as Glastonbury, Shambala, and Nozstock, decided to explore the prospect of a sale within 3-5 years. To achieve this goal, its directors brought on Phil Hayes as Chief Executive Officer, who initiated the sales process by engaging with various investment firms and brokers – it was during this process that Citizen Ticket, also a premium ticketing and booking platform, recognised an opportunity to expand its offering and approached them about buying the company. Both teams instantly clicked, and TicketSellers and Eventree were subsequently acquired by Citizen Ticket in April 2024.

Like most business looking to sell, TicketSellers needed trusted legal advisors with seller experience by their side. They turned to Matt Shakesheff, Partner in our Corporate Team along with Senior Corporate Solicitor, Jenni Ferguson, who guided them through every step of the acquisition process, including:

  • Preparation and Due Diligence: We conducted thorough due diligence, prepared all necessary legal documentation, and ensured TicketSellers were sale-ready.
  • Share Purchase Agreement: We crafted a water-tight share purchase agreement, ensuring all terms were clearly defined and in the best interest of TicketSellers.
  • Consideration Shares: Since part of the price was paid via consideration shares in Citizen Ticket, we advised on terms relating to these shares, protecting TicketSellers as minority shareholders.

In addition to acquisition support, Ian Fraser, Partner in our Employee Incentives Team, assisted TicketSellers with growth share plans to incentivise and reward their staff.

Commenting on what it was like working with our team, Phil Hayes, CEO, adds:

I really appreciated that they were both quick on their feet when it came to presenting documents to the other side. Jenni was great at explaining the implications and highlighting risk factors of various technical aspects in a clear and concise manor. It was clear that Matt, Jenni and Ian were there to protect our best interests from day one.

Now, post-acquisition, Phil and the TicketSellers team are focused on integrating services with Citizen Ticket and exploring international expansion for Eventree. The directors of TicketSellers will transition to new roles within Citizen Ticket, leveraging their expertise to drive the combined company's growth and innovation. The collaboration will foster innovation and improve the overall customer experience.

Phil emphasises the importance of finding a law firm that understands your business and long-term goals. This relationship is crucial for saving time and money and ensuring your best interests are protected throughout the acquisition process. He advises:

When you’re looking for a law firm that’s going to be representing you, make sure you gel with them. It’s really important that they have a thorough understanding of what your business does, and what you’re trying to achieve – in the long-term, it’ll save you time and money. Also, it’s essential that before you kickstart a process of this kind, you know what you want to get out of the deal, whether that’s understanding that you want to take a step back from your business or being prepared to work with the new owners of your business. It’s about identifying whether the risk outweighs the reward. Harper James helped us with all of this and more.

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