Online secondary ticket marketplaceVivid Seatsis looking for a buyer and theyrehoping to fetch a price of about$1.5 billion, TechCrunch has learned.
According to multiple sources, private equity firm Vista Equity Partners is working with Morgan Stanley to unload Vivid, which could net a tidy profit forthe firm a little over ayear after acquiring the businessfor about $850 million.
Vivid Seats might nothave the same name recognition asTicketmaster orStubHub, but the Chicago-based firmhas been a force in selling seats at concerts, theaters and sports events. Founded in 2001, the company had grown to become the third-largest secondary ticket seller in the U.S.by the time itreceived its strategic investment from Vista early last year.
According to one source,tech companies likeAmazon and Priceline had takena look at Vivid Seatsbut decided not to acquire it. We also heard that eBay-owned StubHub is not interested.
Earlier this month, Bloomberg reported on its terminal that Vista was considering a sale after receiving inbound interest, but did not offer further detail.
Onechallenge for Vivid is that it gets a large portion of its traffic from misleading affiliate sites. Customers are sometimes lured to a destination thats not actually associated with the team or artist, a controversial practice within the industry.
Its possible that Vivid Seats will not find a suitable strategic buyer and will sell to another private equity firm. One source mentioned Carlyle Group, but a different source suggested that would be unlikely because they own PrimeSport, a competitor in the space.
If Vivid cant fetch its desired acquisition price, perhaps Vista will keep it in its portfolio until it grows its value.
When asked for comment, Vividsaid we dont comment on industry rumors.