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Showbiz International collapse impacts major venues and acts

Showbiz International collapse impacts major venues and acts
April 17, 2014

The collapse of premium music and events ticketing company Showbiz International has impacted on major venues including the Sydney Opera House, ANZ Stadium and the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC).

The venues are among a range of creditors owed more than $2.2 million by Showbiz, which was placed in voluntary administration on 3rd April.

Showbiz worked with major touring acts, music events, theatres and major venues and had previously sold premium ticket packages for recent tours by Eminem, Bon Jovi and Lionel Richie. At the time of going into administration it was offering tickets to acts and productions including Michael Buble, Vivid LIVE, Soulfest, Wicked, Grease The Musician and Andrea Bocelli.

An information memorandum, dated March 2014, explained the company's business model as follows: "working with our industry partners, all Showbiz inventory is acquired on a 'no-risk' basis from promoters to a level that matches our approximated customer demand, therefore limiting exposure to unsold inventory.

"This inventory is allocated to Showbiz to enable event organisers to enjoy the benefits of Showbiz's unique marketing channels, distribution partners and customer bases."

Administrators Brad Tonks and Peter Vouris of PFK Lawler wrote to creditors on 7th April stating "we have commenced an urgent assessment of the financial position of the company and at this time future ticket sales are on hold."

The most immediate effect of Showbiz’s collapse has been on singer Michael Buble's upcoming concert tour, which begins in Perth on 26th April.

However, the thousands of fans who purchased premium packages for Buble's tour from Showbiz International will have their tickets honoured despite the company going into voluntary administration.

AEG Ogden Executive Director Rod Pilbeam gave the guarantee as the Administrators were working through the details of upcoming shows.

Pilbeam told the Sydney Morning Herald that he could reassure Showbiz customers that "there will be no issue with them exercising their entitlements to see Mr Buble's performances".

"All package components will also be received by purchasers of the various offerings that have been sold by Showbiz."

After Perth, Buble's tour includes concerts at Melbourne's Rod Laver Arena on 30th April and 1st May and Sydney's Allphones Arena on 9th and 10th May.

Subsequently, Administrators Tonks and Vouris have listed 13 pages of companies and individuals owed a total of $2,294,562.54.

The Sydney Opera House is owed amounts of $65,304 and $1,287.50, while ANZ Stadium is owed $77,352.30. The administrators have also found a debt of almost $56,000 to the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.

The list of creditors also includes a number of hotels and restaurants, concert venues and theatres, merchandise companies and ticketing company Ticketek, which is owed $42,836.18.

The largest creditors include Australian Tour Merchandising, which is owed $190,092.46, and merchandise and venue management company Playbill Pty Ltd, owed $139,362.

Tonks told theMusic.com.au that the decision to enter administration was one taken by the company themselves and that they hoped to rescue the company, stating “this was the decision that the company’s board made, it wasn’t forced upon them.”

Tonks added that Showbiz has “faced challenges in recent times and they’d had discussions in recent times with parties about potential transactions.”

The premium ticket market has been increasingly competitive in the last 12 months with new entrants in the market.

The following message has been posted on the Showbiz website:

SHOWBIZ INTERNATIONAL PTY LTD
(ADMINISTRATORS APPOINTED)
ACN 085 982 789
(“THE COMPANY/SHOWBIZ”)

Brad Tonks and John Vouris of the Business Recovery & Insolvency team at PKF Lawler were appointed Voluntary Administrators of Showbiz, on 3 April 2014 following a resolution passed by the Company.

The Administrators are assessing the Company’s position to determine the possibilities available for a restructure. The Administrators are working with the support of producers, promoters and venues and are currently liaising with a number of interested parties that may result in a restructure or sale.

At this time future ticket sales are on hold, whilst the Administrators continue to work through the process. The Administrators will be communicating with all Showbiz customers over the coming days in regard to all existing ticket purchases. Any customer with an enquiry about an existing purchase should email pkflawler@showbiz.com.au.

Any other party with an enquiry in relation to the Voluntary Administration is encouraged to contact PKF Lawler at showbiz@lawlerpartners.com.au or alternatively to address correspondence to:

The Administrators
Showbiz International Pty Ltd
C/- PKF Lawler Partners
GPO Box 5446
SYDNEY NSW 2001
AUSTRALIA

28th Janaury 2014 - MARINA BAY SANDS PARTNERS WITH SHOWBIZ INTERNATIONAL TO LAUNCH BOOKINGS WEBSITE

16th August 2013 - SHOWBIZ LAUNCHES NEW ERA OF SHOW AND ACCOMMODATION PACKAGING

7th August 2012 - VIRGIN LAUNCHES EVENT TICKETING PARTNERSHIP


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