Ticketmaster has agreed to buy-out Australian entertainment and sport ticketing network Ticketmaster 7. It said yesterday (April 6) it has reached agreement to acquire the remaining 49.99% share in th

Ticketmaster has agreed to buy out Australian entertainment and sport ticketing network Ticketmaster 7. The ticketing giant said yesterday (April 6) it has reached an agreement to acquire the remaining 49.99% share in Ticketmaster 7 from free-to-air Australian television network Seven.

Although financial details of the sale were not revealed, Seven said it would yield a A$12 million-A$14 million ($9.3 million-$10.9 million) profit on the deal based on current book value.

"We're excited with the opportunity to expand our investment in the very robust and growing Australian marketplace," said Ticketmaster CEO John Pleasants in a statement.

Ticketmaster has pledged to upgrade its services to the Australian market after the deal is closed. The plans include a facility for ticket auctions and new staffed offices in South Australia, the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory.

Australia's ticketing market is currently dominated by Ticketmaster 7 and Ticketek. The latter firm is owned by media magnate Kerry Packer's Publishing & Broadcasting Ltd.

Ticketmaster 7 will continue to operate under CEO/managing director Maria O'Connor and president Phil Meggs. The company was recently appointed the "official ticketing agency" of the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games.

The sale is part of Seven's decision in December 2004 to shed non-core interests -- including mobile and Internet ventures -- to concentrate on its television and magazine divisions.

The broadcaster also owns 50% of Glenn Wheatley's Melbourne-based management and marketing company Talentworks -- which has veteran singer John Farnham on its books -- and 37.5% of former INXS manager Chris Murphy's record label Petrol Records. It owns concert venue Perth Entertainment Center and manages the 52,000-capacity Telstra Dome in Melbourne.

Ticketmaster7 was established in 1978 as Bass Victoria. It has functioned as a joint venture between Ticketmaster and Seven since 1999.

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