Press Release

CTS EVENTIM expands Live Entertainment business in Italy by acquiring majority stake in Friends and Partners

CTS EVENTIM acquires 60% of the shares in the leading promoter for Italian artists

Company further solidifies its position in the Italian Live Entertainment market

Ferdinando Salzano, CEO and founder, will continue to grow the business

Munich/Milan, 9 November 2017. CTS EVENTIM, one of the leading international providers of Ticketing and Live Entertainment, 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.”

CTS EVENTIM is one of the leading international providers of ticketing services and live entertainment. More than 150 million tickets for over 200,000 events are marketed annually using the company’s systems – be it through stationary box offices, online or from mobile devices. Its online portals operate under brands such as,,, and The EVENTIM Group also includes many concert, tour and festival promoter companies for events like “Rock am Ring”, “Rock im Park”, “Hurricane” and “Southside”. Some of Europe’s most renowned venues are operated by CTS EVENTIM, for example the LANXESS arena in Cologne, the Waldbühne in Berlin and the EVENTIM Apollo in London. CTS EVENTIM AG & Co. KGaA (ISIN DE 0005470306) has been listed on the stock exchange since 2000 and is currently a member of the MDAX segment. In 2016, its 2,384-strong workforce generated a total of 830 million Euro in revenues in 25 countries.

About Friends and Partners
Friends and Partners was founded as the F&P Group by Ferdinando Salzano in 2001 and today is one of the leading providers of Live Entertainment and Music TV productions in Italy. The company represents more than 40 Italian-speaking artists, including Biagio Antonacci, Claudio Baglioni, Francesco de Gregori, Elisa, Ligabue, Fiorella Mannoia, Modà, Gianni Morandi, Gianna Nannini, Laura Pausini, Pooh, Il Volo, Renato Zero, Zucchero, Alessandra Amoroso, Samuele Bersani, Mario Biondi, Luca Carboni, Emma, Elio e le storie tese, Fabri Fibra, Litfiba, Nek, Francesco Renga, Riki, Paola Turci, The Kolors and many more. Over the past three years, F&P Group has sold more than six million tickets to more than 1,500 shows, generating annual revenues of around 80 million Euro on average.

Marco Haeckermann
Vice President Corporate Development & Strategy
Frank Brandmaier
Head of Corporate Communications

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