2019 American Music Awards

SFX’s Shelly Finkel Hints at New Acquisitions With Pete Tong at IMS: ‘What’s Ministry of Sound Doing?'

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SFX's Shelly Finkel (right) in conversation with BBC's Pete Tong at the International Music Summit Engage.

SFX head of acquisitions Shelly Finkel hinted at a number of previously unannounced deals during his sit-down with BBC Radio 1 legend Pete Tong at the first annual IMS Engage in Los Angeles today.
Finkel proved to be a charismatic consolation prize for the man himself, SFX CEO Bob Sillerman, offering tales from his own rock and boxing promoting past. He also confirmed what many had suspected: Despite snapping up TomorrowWorld promoter ID&T and digital download hub Beatport, SFX isn’t quite done acquiring dance music entities.

“Is there any money left?” asked Tong. “There’s plenty of money left,” said Finkel. “What’s Ministry of Sound doing?”
Describing a “a basic strategy is to acquire certain major brands and promoters in different parts of the world,” Finkel – who has been Sillerman’s muscle man during the acquisition process, doing most of the initial reach-outs to potential purchases (a fact which made him known to many in the convention room) – said that SFX recently bought “a promoter in South America, the largest promoter in Germany, and probably the largest in Australia.” He also stated that the ID&T party brands set to come to North America, in addition to the previously announced Sensation and TomorrowWorld, would be Mysteryland, May Day, and Q Dance.
Tong seemed to continually nip at Finkel, who along with SFX has been cast by dance music cognoscenti as a profiteer with no real ties to or love for “the scene.” Finkel floated like a butterfly, dodging the light jabs.
“What is your approach: Flatter, seduce?” asked Tong. “It seems that you’re turning over stones all over the world looking for stuff to buy.”
“I use my personality,” laughed Finkel.
“I met you snipping around Pacha [the Ibiza nightclub],” said Tong. “You didn’t buy it though. Why?”
“We decided our strategy overall was not clubs,” said Finkel. “We have some clubs because they came with promoters,” like LIV in Miami via their acquisition of Miami Marketing Group.
While speaking about Sillerman’s original SFX to Clear Channel in the early 2000s, Finkel offered a picture of so-called “SFX II’s” possible future: “With consolidation you originally build a business, you grow it, you hope to grow it forever. But if someone makes an offer that is hard to refuse, you do it.”


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