CHICAGO, May 16, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- GTCR, a leading private equity firm, announced today that it has signed a definitive agreement to make a strategic investment in Vivid Seats LLC ("Vivid Seats" or the "Company") alongside existing investor Vista Equity Partners ("Vista") and Vivid Seats management.
Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, Vivid Seats is the largest independent marketplace for tickets to live sports, concert and theater events, facilitating millions of transactions per year.
As part of the transaction, GTCR will partner with co-founders Jerry Bednyak and Eric Vassilatos and the entire Vivid Seats management team as they continue to grow and develop the Company's technology and service offerings. Following the transaction, the co-founders and Vista will maintain a significant ownership stake in the company.
"The Vivid Seats team has built a tremendous business that is well-positioned for long-term success," said GTCR Managing Director David Donnini. "The impressive growth over the last decade is a testament to their customer service, operating excellence and proprietary technology platform."
"We are excited to partner with GTCR in the next stage of Vivid Seats' evolution," said Messrs. Bednyak and Vassilatos. "GTCR brings significant resources and experience in building industry-leading companies, and we believe they will be a valuable resource in the long-term expansion of our business. We would also like to thank Vista for their support and look forward to their continued partnership."
Lawrence Fey, Managing Director at GTCR, added: "Through their leading technology and customer service platform, Vivid Seats delivers a differentiated marketplace experience for ticket buyers and sellers. We are excited to partner with the Vivid Seats team as they continue to expand the reach and scale of their network."
The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2017.
RBC Capital Markets and Barclays served as financial advisors to GTCR. Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC and William Blair & Company, L.L.C. served as financial advisors to Vivid Seats.
Founded in 1980, GTCR is a leading private equity firm focused on investing in growth companies in the Financial Services & Technology, Healthcare, Technology, Media & Telecommunications and Growth Business Services industries. The Chicago-based firm pioneered The Leaders Strategy™ - finding and partnering with management leaders in core domains to identify, acquire and build market-leading companies through transformational acquisitions and organic growth. Since its inception, GTCR has invested more than $12 billion in over 200 companies. For more information, please visit www.gtcr.com.
About Vivid Seats
Vivid Seats is the largest independent marketplace for tickets to live sports, concert, and theater events. Founded in 2001, the Chicago-based company offers industry-leading affordability across one of the widest selections of premium tickets and event packages. Vivid Seats supports all orders with a comprehensive buyer guarantee and an in-house customer service team to ensure the safest and most convenient purchase experience. Fans that want to sit closer and see more of their favorite live events can order directly on www.vividseats.com or by phone at (866) 848-8499.
About Vista Equity Partners
Vista Equity Partners, a U.S.-based investment firm with offices in Austin, San Francisco, Chicago, and Oakland with more than $30 billion in cumulative capital commitments, currently invests in software, data and technology-enabled organizations led by world-class management teams with long-term perspective. Vista is a value-added investor, contributing professional expertise and multi-level support towards companies realizing their full potential. Vista's investment approach is anchored by a sizable long-term capital base, experience in structuring technology-oriented transactions, and proven management techniques that yield flexibility and opportunity in private equity investing. For more information, please visit www.vistaequitypartners.com.