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Eventim ‘safeguards’ Austrian subsidiary amid banking scandal

CTS Eventim has said it is “safeguarding” the progress of its subsidiary, Austrian promoter Barracuda, which holds around €34m (£30.6m/$40.2m) of deposits with the bankrupt Commerzialbank Mattersburg.

The Austrian bank was prohibited from doing business by the Financial Market Authority (FMA) on July 14 and filed for bankruptcy on Monday. The bank was over-indebted with €528m and an auditor has been appointed as an expert supervisor (government commissioner) of the credit institution.

The exact effects of the ban imposed by the FMA on the commercial operations of Commerzialbank Mattersburg, which also prohibits the bank from paying existing deposits, have yet to be conclusively assessed.

Though Barracuda is unable to access its €34m of deposits, potentially to support its festivals in 2021, its parent company has said that “thanks to a comprehensive financing plan”, the activities of the promoter are “well protected”, particularly its two flagship festivals, Nova Rock and Frequency.

Ewald Tatar, managing director at Barracuda, said: “We are immensely struck by the fast and uncomplicated way that CTS Eventim jumped to our side and are really very glad to have such a strong and flexible company as our parent.

“We are delighted for hundreds of thousands of music fans from Austria and abroad that we are able to carry on our successful work and that the future of Nova Rock, Frequency and hundreds of concerts a year is secure.”

Eventim, which acquired a 71 per cent stake in Barracuda Music at the start of this year, is listed on the stock exchange and has a market capitalisation of over €3bn. As of March 31, 2020, cash and cash equivalents in the group were around €700m.

Klaus-Peter Schulenberg, chief executive of CTS Eventim, added: “Even in times of Corona, we are pursuing a long-term corporate strategy and are fully aware of Barracuda’s enormous potential. We are therefore pleased that Barracuda, one of most creative concert promoters in Europe, has been a member of our corporate family since early 2020, which also means a significant investment in Austria, a market that is so important to us.

“The team around Ewald Tatar, Barracuda’s managing director, can rely on us totally, even in these turbulent times. We would like to emphasise at the same time that both CTS Eventim and the Barracuda Group will take any steps that are necessary to protect our rights in respect of the current situation at Commerzialbank Mattersburg.”

Image: Alfred Nitsch / CC BY-SA 3.0 AT / Edited for size