Ticketmaster has expanded its European network with the acquisition of Belgian ticketing company Sherpa.be for an undisclosed sum.
Founded in 2000 by Hubert Laterre and Bernard Denys, Brussels-based Sherpa.be is the market leader in Belgium's two largest regions, Flanders and Wallonia, and has an annual turnover of €55 million ($71 million), according to a spokesperson for Ticketmaster. The company, which presently has 20 staff, sells tickets across a range of live events, theaters and festivals with an approximate ticket volume of 1.5 million per year.
Following the acquisition, Sherpa.be will be incorporated into the existing Ticketmaster Belgium team, with Laterre taking the post of chairman of Ticketmaster Belgium, working alongside managing director Didier Decaestecker.
Ticketmaster Belgium was formed at the start of the year after Ticketmaster, a division of Live Nation Entertainment, acquired a full stake in the Ticketnet platform.
The launch of Ticketmaster Belgium was the latest in a line of recent acquisitions and launches, which has seen the company's European network grow to encompass 13 countries, including the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Netherlands, Finland and Norway.
In November 2010, Ticketmaster acquired Ticketnet, then the second-largest ticket retailer in France, with the site rebranded to Ticketmaster France earlier this year. In 2011, the company acquired a Spanish ticketing platform to become Ticketmaster Spain. Two years later saw the launch of Ticketmaster Austria, which marked the second German-language market for the company, following the installation of its pan-European platform in Germany in 2011.
Commenting on today's acquisition of Sherpa.be, Mark Yovich, president of Ticketmaster international said in a statement: "With operations in 13 European countries, this expansion in Belgium is another strategic step for Ticketmaster international as we continue to provide the most innovative products and services in the ticketing industry."
"This is a great moment for Sherpa.be," added Laterre. "Joining the most innovative ticket agent is the ultimate reward of years of work led by a team of dedicated professionals. Thanks to Ticketmaster, we will be able to explore new opportunities. I'm really looking forward to being part of the team as we enter this new phase of the company."