CTS EVENTIM acquires 60% of Italian Promoter
CTS EVENTIM expands Live Entertainment business in Italy by acquiring majority stake in Friends and Partners.

CTS EVENTIM is acquiring 60 percent of the shares in Friends and Partners, Ferdinando Salzano`s new primary company operating in the music and live entertainment sector in Italy.

Salzano started the enterprise in 2001 as F&P Group and subsequently developed it into the leading promotion agency for concerts by Italian-speaking artists, in partnership with Warner Music over the past few years. All of F&P Group`s current main activities will become part of Friends & Partners by October 1 2018, at the latest.

Following the acquisition of Vertigo in September, CTS EVENTIM will thus have an additional mainstay on the Italian Live Entertainment market. In the Ticketing segment, the company has been present in Italy since 2007 with market leader TicketOne.

Klaus-Peter Schulenberg, CEO of CTS EVENTIM, commented that "There are many artists that have long been addressing an international audience and who plan their live performances without paying heed to national borders. Our aim is to offer them Europe-wide touring opportunities and efficient ticketing services under the CTS EVENTIM umbrella. For that reason, we are constantly reviewing options for expanding our portfolio. I am delighted that with this transaction we further strengthen our market position in Italy."

The more than 40 artists whose tours are organised by F&P Group include national stars such as Claudio Baglioni, Ligabue, Gianna Nannini, Nek, Laura Pausini, Il Volo and Zucchero. The company also produces concert films and music TV formats for all the major Italian TV stations.

Frithjof Pils, Managing Director of the Medusa Music Group (CTS EVENTIM), said, "Friends and Partners complements our Live Entertainment portfolio in Italy superbly. Whereas Vertigo brings both domestic artists and many international rock acts to the Italian stage, Friends and Partners represent the Who`s Who of the national music scene. On top of that, Ferdinando Salzano and his team will bring valuable experience into our Group, from which we want to benefit in other countries as well."

Ferdinando Salzano, who will continue to manage Friends & Partners from its offices in Milan, stated, "I am looking forward very much to the various opportunities that the partnership with a global player like CTS EVENTIM will provide us and I thank Klaus-Peter Schulenberg and his team for the confidence they place in us. Our joint aim is to project the Friends & Partners success story into the future."
Salzano added, "At the same time, my colleagues and I will remain true to our mission, which is to offer artists, managers and producers a home that helps them realise their creative ambitions. I also extend my thanks at this point to my companions at Warner Music, who have passionately supported and advised my team and myself for almost a decade. I am certain that our paths will cross on various projects in the future as well."