SFX Entertainment misses beat in stock market debut

A view of TomorrowWorld Electronic Music Festival in Chattahoochee Hills, Ga.
(Christopher Polk / Getty Images)

There wasn’t much to rave about on the first day of trading for electronic dance music promoter SFX Entertainment Inc.

Shares of SFX, founded by entertainment entrepreneur Robert F.X. Sillerman, fell $1.11, or 8.5%, to $11.89 on Wednesday, after its initial public offering.

The New York company sold 20 million shares at $13 a share, at the high end of its proposed range, raising $260 million in its IPO.

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The company, which puts on festivals and events including Tomorrowland, Sensation and Mysteryland, plans to use the money for acquisitions. SFX is in the process of completing four acquisitions, including a 70% stake in Made Event, which owns and produces the Electric Zoo Festival.

SFX’s pro forma sales, which count revenue from planned acquisitions, was $238.6 million in 2012, while its net loss was about $68 million. Sillerman is tapping into a market for electronic dance music that the company says will grow to $4.5 billion this year, citing the International Music Summit Business Report.

SFX competes with Live Nation, which has been building its presence in the growing electronic dance music market. Shares of Live Nation have more than doubled in value in the last year, closing Wednesday at $18.58.

“The IPO was designed to give SFX the financial muscle to outbid Live Nation when trying to acquire major producers and promoters of live events,” said Sam Hamadeh, the founder and chief executive of PrivCo, in an email. “SFX’s weak IPO reception will impact SFX’s ability to use its hobbled stock to buy more music festival and other live events companies.”

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Sillerman, SFX’s chief executive and chairman, was responsible for the combining of the businesses that became Live Nation.

UBS Investment Bank, Jefferies and Deutsche Bank Securities led SFX’s IPO. The shares trade on the Nasdaq stock exchange under the symbol SFXE.



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