Business

Danny Wimmer Presents Prepares for Acquisition Phase Following Yucaipa Investment

Hometown
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Atmosphere2 during the inaugural 2019 Hometown Rising Country Music & Bourbon Festival at Highland Festival Grounds at Kentucky Expo Center on Sept. 14, 2019 in Louisville, Ky.

North America's largest independent festival producer Danny Wimmer Presents is planning a new round to make a number of acquisitions this year, after raising a significant investment round from Ron Burkle’s investment firm The Yucaipa Companies in exchange for a minority stake in the concert promotion company.

DWP CEO Danny Hayes met Burkle through Artist Group International agent Jarred Arfa, "who really pushed us and Burkle together, insisting that we meet," Hayes explained. "This deal would not have happened without him."

DWP has already executed four term sheets for indie promoters and festivals, often the final step before lawyers for both sides hammer out a final agreement.

"We will use the money to build on a couple of different vertical strategies," Hayes said. "One is to buy additional rock festivals that are in markets where we feel it's better to buy something than to compete."

Hayes says DWP is also looking to strengthen its country music business with several likely acquisitions in the near term, growing its portfolio beyond the seven US festivals the nine-year-old, LA-based company will produce in 2020. This year DWP will produce Sonic Temple Art + Music Festival in Columbus, Ohio; Aftershock in Sacramento, California; Epicenter in Charlotte, North Carolina; Welcome To Rockville in  Daytona Beach, Florida and the Trifesta series in Louisville, Kentucky which includes Hometown Rising Country Music & Bourbon Festival, Louder Than Life and Bourbon & Beyond.

Last year, DWP's events attracted 750,000 fans and Hayes said he hopes to grow with the help of new partners.

"I see a lot of young Danny Wimmers out there and I'm very excited to be in business with young Danny Wimmers," Hayes said. "We are absolutely going to build the next generation. That is our focus."

Paradigm and X-Ray Touring have also signed deals with Yucaipa Companies, founded in 1986 by Burkle with a portfolio of mergers and acquisitions valued at more than $40 billion.

Concurrent with the Yucaipa Companies deal, DWP entered into a new banking relationship with First Horizon Bank that provides DWP with an extended line of credit. DWP also renewed its ticketing agreement with Front Gate Tickets.

For The Yucaipa Companies transaction, DWP was represented by investment bankers Alex Michael and James Lindsay at LionTree Advisors and attorneys Brian Schall and Matthew Wolf of Wolf, Rifkin, Shapiro, Shulman & Rabkin.

The United Auburn Indian Community, an earlier investor in DWP, continues to hold a position with the company.