Bidding war set to break out for ticketing merchant See Tickets

The owners of the O2 and the Hammersmith Apollo look set to fight it out over one of the UK’s biggest ticketing merchants.

French media giant Vivendi has been courting potential buyers for See Tickets and its events arm in a deal that could value it at over £250million.

Both Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), which owns London’s O2 Arena, and German ticketing group CTS Eventim, which co-owns the Hammersmith Apollo, are in talks with Vivendi.

See Tickets, which operates in eight European markets, sold 39m tickets last year to sporting events, museums and concerts.

It also has an events arm, which runs festivals across Europe including Love Supreme in East Sussex.

Big draw: Shania Twain at her recent O2 gig. French media giant Vivendi has been courting potential buyers for See Tickets

Paris-based Vivendi has said it has ‘received at this stage several very encouraging offers’.

A sale to either AEG or Eventim would represent fierce competition for Ticketmaster, which is the major player on both sides of the Atlantic.

The See Tickets business started out from a Nottingham-based record shop Way Ahead Records, which sold gig tickets.

It was later bought by Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Group, who changed the company’s name to See Tickets.

The company was then snapped up by Vivendi for £82million in 2011.

Vivendi has been heavily involved in the world of music through its hefty stake in Universal Music.