StubHub to close offices in the Asia Pacific and Latin America

Fewer than 100 of StubHub’s 650 staff are understood to be facing redundancy

Ticket resale company StubHub is to close or shrink offices around the world as it reels from the pandemic, which has shut down concert venues and theatres and forced sports events to be held behind closed doors.

In an email seen by the Guardian, addressed to staff known as “Stubbers”, the world’s largest ticketing company said it would be shutting its offices in the Asia Pacific and Latin America regions.

“This decision has not been made lightly, nor easily, and unfortunately it means that we have to bid farewell to our colleagues in Mexico, Brazil, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Korea,” the company said.

The cutbacks come less than six months after rival Viagogo sealed a $4.05bn (£3.12bn) takeover of StubHub, a deal dubbed one of the worst in history due to the fact that it was completed weeks before the global events industry fell victim to Covid-19.

The deal took another hit when the UK competition watchdog voiced fears that a tie-up would substantially reduce competition, ordering the firms to stay separate while it concluded an investigation.

Fewer than 100 of StubHub’s 650-strong head count are understood to be facing redundancy as part of closures announced on Wednesday.

But the closures represent a significant withdrawal in a market where local knowledge can be key to ensuring the site can make commission fees from a steady supply of tickets, often advertised by well-connected touts able to get hold of them.

The company said it had already been looking at ways to boost its profitability before the pandemic, but that the “incredibly challenging environment” created by Covid-19 had forced it to move more swiftly.

It will run its international operations from Europe, but staff there are also facing cutbacks.

In a separate message to “Stubbers” in Spain, the company fleshed out plans to reduce its operation in Madrid, with staff set to be furloughed or face reduced hours.

A spokesperson for the company said: “While events will be among the last to return to normal following this pandemic, we’re confident in the industry’s ability to rebound.

“For now, we continue to support our customers and partners and look forward to a time when we are able to return to the joy of live events and the special connections that come with them.”

Contributor

Rob Davies

The GuardianTramp

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