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Lo-Q acquires leading US ticketing and e-commerce company accesso LLC

Lo-Q acquires leading US ticketing and e-commerce company accesso LLC
December 7, 2012

The acquisition of leading US ticketing and e-commerce company accesso LLC by UK-based queue management experts Lo-Q looks set to create a major force in technology solutions in the global attractions industry.

Purchasing accesso LLC for a total consideration of £13.7 million ($22 million), the acquisition will extend Lo-Q's market penetration in the USA, enhance its product development capability and bring European and Asian distribution to accesso's product set for the first time.

The Directors of Lo-Q, which provides 'virtual queuing systems' for theme parks, water parks and major attractions, believe that acquiring accesso will:

• Deepen Lo-Q's customer relationships, particularly with important 'top 10' theme and water park operators;

• Enhance Lo-Q's ability to develop new products and value-added services for customers, particularly in mobile, by combining both companies' strong IP and product development skills;

• Strengthen Lo-Q's management team, with accesso's current Chief Executive, Steven Brown, joining the Lo-Q board with immediate effect and becoming Chief Operating Officer of the merged North American business and other key staff remaining with the enlarged Group in key management positions;

• Be immediately earnings accretive;

• Enable Lo-Q to cross-sell accesso's solutions to customers and prospects in Europe and Asia;

• Accelerate Lo-Q's existing growth strategy by opening up new complementary verticals;

• Help to reduce the seasonality currently inherent in Lo-Q's business.

Commenting on the acquisition Lo-Q Chief Executive Tom Burnet stated "I am delighted to announce the news ... of our acquisition of accesso.

"Both parties believe that this combination presents an excellent opportunity to build a trusted, proven and energetic supplier of scale across multiple Leisure markets. accesso's customer base complements our own and our products and technologies will be hugely synergistic.

"Bringing these two businesses together will expand the opportunity for both of us globally and we firmly believe that the deal is an excellent use of Lo-Q's cash, as we seek to grow the size, scope and potential of our firm. This is a very exciting day for the entire Lo-Q team."

Steven Brown added "we're thrilled to be joining the Lo-Q portfolio and look forward to offering our combined set of revenue-driving resources to attractions around the globe. Blending our unique and highly successful companies will allow us to jointly leverage the talent of both teams and our combined technological, mobile and operations expertise to develop next generation solutions to meet the rapidly changing needs of the attractions marketplace."

The Directors of Lo-Q believe that the combination of accesso's platform, products, customer base and skilled employees with Lo-Q's existing operations and customer relationships will open up new routes to growth for the enlarged group as well as defend and deepen existing client relationships. As such, the Board believes that this acquisition represents an excellent and appropriate use of Company cash, supporting its potential to deliver future growth from a broader, more balanced mix of end-markets.

accesso is recognised as the attractions industry's leading provider of ticketing solutions offering a range of proprietary PCI Level 1, fully-hosted ticketing, ecommerce, mobile and payment processing solutions to more than 100 leading venues across the United States, Canada and Mexico. accesso is on track to process nearly $1 billion in transactions in 2012 and deliver more than 14 million print-at-home and mobile admission tickets for its clients.

accesso's strong customer base is highly complementary to Lo-Q's, with both companies sharing some of the theme park and water park industry's largest operators as customers. Similar to Lo-Q, accesso has a strong track record of customer growth and customer retention and the acquisition will add a number of new 'top 10' worldwide operator names to Lo-Q's existing relationships. In addition, accesso currently operates only in North and Central America, which presents the Enlarged Group with an opportunity to leverage Lo-Q's existing presence in Europe and its partnership in Asia to expand sales of accesso's products internationally.

accesso's product suite represents an important strategic bridgehead for Lo-Q into adjacent Leisure verticals, such as zoos and cultural attractions. These relationships and products will support Lo-Q's stated ambition to move in to new verticals, expanding the range of opportunities open to the Company. It will also help to broaden and deepen Lo-Q's potential market in areas that see less 'seasonal' revenue flows, thereby reducing, over time, the seasonality Lo-Q's business currently demonstrates. Furthermore, the addition of accesso's highly experienced management team which includes extensive expertise in the theme park and attractions market to the Company's existing employee base will support and enhance Lo-Q's continued expansion into the Leisure market.

Both organisations believe that the industry trend of convergence to mobile based solutions – with payment, ticketing, queue-line management and privilege and content – will become intrinsic to delivering a great guest experience. By combining accesso's existing mobile product and its sales track-record in this area with Lo-Q's increasingly successful Smartphone-based solution, the Directors believe that Lo-Q will be better able to exploit the growth that this trend is enabling.

For example, accesso's comprehensive mobile content and secure commerce platform will reach more than 1.1 million downloads in 2012. accesso has demonstrated a strong track record in exploiting its market-leading position to acquire clients that want a mobile presence. Then, by demonstrating the strength of its customer support and solutions, accesso has in turn successfully upsold to those customers its ticketing system. This strategy has worked well, resulting in a mobile client base of 36 venues since the programme's inception two years ago.

Joining the Lo-Q board, Steven Brown spent 16 years with the Walt Disney Co. where he held executive positions as Director of Walt Disney World Ticketing and Vice President of Revenue Management for Disneyland Resort. He has also worked as Corporate Vice President of Ticket Strategy and Sales for Six Flags.

Lo-Q

Lo-Q is the creator of a virtual queuing system for theme parks, water parks and other leisure attractions that allows users to queue without waiting in line. Lo-Q users reserve their place in a queue electronically and are notified when their turn is up, spending less time queuing and more time enjoying their day out.

Lo-Q's system has been adopted by leading theme park and attraction operators globally, with customers including Parques Reunidos, Six Flags, Dollywood, Merlin Entertainments and Compagnie des Alpes. These operators benefit not only from happier customers but also from additional revenue streams as time previously spent queuing is instead transformed into higher spending in park restaurants, gift shops and other retail facilities. By the end of 2011, more than eight million individuals had used a Lo-Q product and that number is growing.

The Company's technology is protected by extensive patents or patents pending in Europe, USA, Hong Kong and Japan. Lo-Q sees the target market for this technology as being "large and growing, with Lo-Q currently exploring opportunities for expansion into new theme parks and new geographies as well as opportunities to develop new product for other complementary adjacent markets."

Gold Coast theme park Dreamworld is a Lo-Q client.

Lo-Q products include:

Q-bot - Guests reserve a ride on their hand-held Q-bot device, allowing them to enjoy the rest of the park whilst the Q-bot virtually queues for them. When it's time to ride, the Q-bot lets them know and they head straight on to their reserved ride. Guests can also enjoy the virtual queuing benefits of the Q-bot from their own Smartphone.

Q-band is the world's first virtual queuing solution for water parks. Using a waterproof RFID wristband, customers reserve their favourite slide at a touchscreen kiosk. The Q-band displays their wait time and once it has counted down to zero, it's time to ride and the guest heads straight onto their reserved slide. The product can also incorporate cashless payment and access control features.

Q-smart puts virtual queuing technology straight onto a smart phone and allows park guests to reserve, pay for and manage their rides.

Q-pay is a mobile payment and ticketing solution easily integrated into the line-up of Lo-Q products as well as attraction's existing systems.

accesso

accesso delivers powerful, fully-hosted ticketing and technology solutions to top tier attractions across North America from theme parks and water parks to zoos, concerts and sporting events.

The accesso Passport ticketing suite is comprehensive, fully-hosted admission sales platform backed by a unique, ongoing approach to service that focuses on sales optimization and client support. The accesso Passport ticketing suite is noted for its streamlined, easy-to-use design with seamlessly integrated revenue driving features and includes online, front gate and mobile ticketing applications.

All accesso solutions are continually updated with a unique rapid release approach to enhancements to ensure speedy response to client needs and prompt capture of emerging market opportunities. accesso maintains Level 1 PCI Data Security Standard certification, the highest certification available from major credit card providers.

accesso solutions clients include Six Flags, Nashville Shores, Palace Entertainment. and Cedar Fair Entertainment Company.

For more information contact +60 (3) 8945-4678, E: info@accesso.comwww.accesso.com

8th September 2012 - LO-Q AND THE SANDERSON GROUP PARTNER TO EASE QUEUE MANAGEMENT 

22nd November 2011 - CONSUMERS EMBRACE MOBILE TICKETING 

14th September 2011 - TICKET BUYERS GO MOBILE

7th November 2008 - MCG CHOOSES TICKETEK


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Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.

 

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