Electronic Music Festival Promoter Files for IPO

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A festival promotion company founded by Robert F.X. Sillerman — the man generally credited with combining several regional music concert promotion outfits into what eventually became Live Nation Entertainment Inc. (NYSE: LYV) — has filed for an initial public offering (IPO) hoping to raise $175 million. The company, SFX Entertainment Inc., intends to focus exclusively on electronic dance music (EDM), or what SFX calls electronic music culture (EMC).

EDM/EMC has been popular in Europe for more than 20 years and has developed a large following in the U.S. over the past few years. In its filing, SFX claims that the market for EDM will total $4.5 billion in 2013 and that the five largest EMC festivals grew at a pace of 41% annually from 2007 to 2012, while the overall North American concert market grew by just 2%.

SFX said that 2012 revenues totaled $242 million and the company posted a net loss of about $49 million. In the first three months of 2013 revenue totaled $36.2 million and SFX posted a net loss of nearly $32 million.

The company plans to use the proceeds from the IPO to acquire stakes in four EMC promoters to add to its existing stable of four companies.

No price or number of shares to be offered has been set. The underwriters are UBS, Barclays, and Jefferies. SFX shares will trade on the Nasdaq, under the symbol “SFXE.”