CTS Eventim Buys 49% Stake in ABBA Dinner Theater, Eyes Global Expansion

MAMMA MIA! The Party
David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for Mamma Mia

Bjorn Ulvaeus makes a cameo in his original ABBA costume from 1977 at the opening night of MAMMA MIA! The Party at The O2 on Sept. 19, 2019 in London.

The winner takes... about half of the "Mamma Mia"-inspired show.

MUNICH — German concert promoter CTS Eventim and ABBA co-founder Björn Ulvaeus are joining forces for the dinner theater franchise Mamma Mia! The Party. CTS Eventim has now acquired 49 percent of the production from the previous minority shareholders, while Ulvaeus remains the majority shareholder with 51%.

The show combines dining and the classic songs of ABBA with inspiration from the Mamma Mia! musical and movies — it's set in Nikos Tavern on a Greek island. Mamma Mia! The Party launched in Stockholm in 2016 where it staged sold-out show for four years running. In September of last year the show opened at the O2 in London and ran successfully for six months — until it had to pause due to the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions. CTS Eventim is the exclusive ticketing partner for the London show.

The CEO of CTS Eventim, Klaus-Peter Schulenberg, said in Munich: "Together with [Ulvaeus] and CTS Eventim’s extensive live entertainment know-how and marketing expertise, we will take this exciting production to a new international level as soon as the restrictions of COVID-19 are relaxed. Even if the Corona crisis is a major setback for the entire event industry, we firmly believe in this project, which has already proven its potential.”

Ulvaeus said: "We are delighted to bring CTS Eventim further into the Mamma Mia! The Party family, following a successful collaboration during our first year in London. Despite the challenges of COVID-19 and the real hardships and uncertainties we and the wider industry face due to the pandemic, this is a vote of confidence both in Mamma Mia! The Party and in the recovery of live events generally."

CTS Eventim currently operates the Lanxess Arena in Cologne, the K.B. Hallen in Copenhagen, the Waldbühne in Berlin and the Eventim Apollo in London. In 2019, its 3,202-strong workforce generated more than 1.4 billion euro in sales revenue in 21 countries.

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