Ticketmaster takes new step in China

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BEIJING -- Ticketmaster, the world's leading ticketing company, has expanded its China operations with the acquisition of a majority stake in Emma Entertainment Holdings HK Ltd., the ticketing and event promotions company that recently brought the Rolling Stones and Eric Clapton to the mainland.

Ticketmaster's partnership with fledgling Emma Entertainment marks the company's third investment in the China market in the past twelve months, the company said in a statement last week.

Ticketmaster, an operating business of Nasdaq-listed IAC, has previously formed partnerships with Beijing Gehua Ticketmaster Ticketing Co., Ltd. and Broadway China Network.

In just three years of operations, Beijing and Shanghai-based Emma Entertainment, founded by CEO Jonathan Krane, have established at least 30 exclusive ticketing venue contracts in five major Chinese cities.

In its new partnership, Emma Entertainment will change its name to Emma Ticketmaster and become an operating business of Ticketmaster. Krane will remain CEO and continue to be responsible for leading Emma's business and strategic operations in China.

"What attracted us to Emma is great local management," Ticketmaster executive vp Eric Korman said. "Krane has done a fantastic job navigating the complicated dynamics of the rapidly developing Chinese market."

Ticketmaster is the world's leading ticketing company, operating in 20 global markets and selling, in 2006, more than 128 million tickets valued at over $7 billion on behalf of its clients.

Emma currently sells tickets through distribution networks in Beijing and Shanghai and in East China's Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces, as well as through its Web service, www.emma.cn, and a national call center.

Emma sells tickets for major venues throughout China and has promoted and ticketed events in China including concerts by the Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, Christina Aguilera, Whitney Houston, Sarah Brightman, Backstreet Boys and Taiwanese pop star Jay Chou.

Emma also has ticketed and promoted the Olympic Festival concerts, the China Tennis Open, the Manchester United vs. Beijing match, the Johnnie Walker Golf Classic, the A1 Race and will handle tickets and promotions for the upcoming Women's World Cup and NBA China Exhibition Game.
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