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IDI

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Other news/comments17/01/2022

Kicks off 2022 with investment in digital art museums

Jointly with the group Chevrillon, IDI is buying into digital art museums and exhibitions by acquiring Culturespaces from Engie. A key player in a digitally-led market that is revolutionising art exhibitions and allowing larger audiences to experience artwork by famous painters.


Fact

  • The consortium (IDI and group Chevrillon) will be acquiring Engie’s 86.1% stake in the company, and joint founder and CEO of Culturespaces, Bruno Monnier.
  • Founded in 1990, Culturespaces has become a key player in the digital art museum and exhibitions market.
  • IDI has not disclosed the financial terms of the transaction. The deal is expected to close in Spring 2022.

Analysis

IDI is kicking off the year with a first acquisition in the digital art space, joined by PE fund Chevrillon. Culturespaces, a Paris-based firm that counts 30+ years of experience in the management of monuments, museums and art centres, and which has more recently pivoted towards the design and creation of ‘immersive’ digital art exhibitions, such as the Atelier des Lumières opened in Paris in 2018. This most recent acquisition fully ascribes to IDI’s investment focus on digitally-led businesses.

With the consortium acquiring the 86.1% stake held by Engie, which is executing its strategic refocusing plan, IDI gains exposure to an innovative business with high growth potential. For example, the Ateliers des Lumières, which hosts digital exhibits of famous painters such as Van Gogh, Klimt and Picasso, welcomed 1.4m visitors in 2019; the most recent figures are approaching their pre-pandemic levels. The company reported revenues of €72.3m in 2019.

With three new art centres to be opened in New York, Amsterdam and Seoul, Culturespaces is expanding internationally, which is expected to accelerate with the entry of IDI as a shareholder. Not constrained by the same logistics of a traditional art exhibition, such as the transport and surveillance of valuable art pieces, the business model is in principle highly profitable, which is further supported by ticket prices (€16 per person) being similar to those of top-tier museums such as the Musée du Louvre and Musée d’Orsay.


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