September didn’t go so well for SFX’s Robert Sillerman and, unfortunately for him, October isn’t shaping up to be much better. From the unmitigated disaster that was TomorrowWorld to tanking stock prices, mounting debt, and lawsuits, it’s pretty much safe to say that Sillerman’s seen better days.
That said, the man isn’t quite ready to throw in the towel and he remains fully confident in himself and the company’s he built thus far. In a detailed piece with the New York Business Journal, a fiery Robert Sillerman insists that he’s here to stay.
“Most people have a plan B. I haven’t thought about that. Next year, you’ll be talking to me in the same spot.”
Sillerman made waves more than three years ago when he reformed New York-based SFX. Having a large hand in the creation of the music industry beast we now known as Live Nation, investors were excited when he took on a new project.
Sillerman’s first move as the new head of SFX was to turn it towards what many would describe at the time as a “narrow niche” – EDM. Taking advantage of a game plan he was more than familiar with, Sillerman rolled up rival promoters, capitalized on synergies, and pushed towards taking the company public.
Rebranding the company as SFX Mk. II, Sillerman promptly blazed his way through the music industry upsetting investors and analysts alike with a large-scale spending spree, and his own personal mannerisms which by all accounts – made him seem more focused on himself rather than the company he was running. Eventually, SFX II would wind up shelling out more than $1 billion with acquisition after acquisition – just like SFX Mk. I before it.
Fortunately for Sillerman EDM really took off and as of the 2014 end – has become a $6.9 billion industry per a recent International Music Summit business report. Sillerman cites the crossover between the mainstream and EDM, with Rihanna and Justin Bieber working with EDM artists and incorporating a lot of dance music into their live performances, as evidence that “It’s bigger than it has ever been.”
Sillerman also isn’t afraid to take some responsibility ultimately conceding “But, I think I made a mistake” in reference to the breakneck speed at which SFX II was buying up assets.
“There was an opportunity to combine all of these great companies around the world and capitalize on what that would mean for fans — we would do more concerts and they would get better…The reality is, we are behind where we built the company to be…And I think it’s obvious that the market has lost patience.”
While his current and potential investors alike have been searching through the wreckage of SFX’s stock for what’s left, Sillerman remains unfazed. He currently owes 40% of the company and is looking to fully buy out the rest of the company and run it himself. It appears that despite the different lawsuits from both investors and from within (a former manager at subsidiary Disco Donnie has launched a suit) as well as the recent TomorrowWorld class action, Sillerman still believes he can pull through.
“People who know the company have not lost confidence in the potential.”
Only time will tell whether or not his almost foolhardy belief in himself will eventually pay off – despite an almost resounding chorus of “no’s” from former investors.
Image Source: Billboard