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Publisher acquires 50% stake in SXSW, report says

The Wall Street Journal reports Penske Media Corp. will now own the largest stake in SXSW.

AUSTIN, Texas — The publisher of magazines like the Rolling Stone, Billboard and Variety has acquired a big stake in the South by Southwest festival, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal.

The report states Penske Media Corp. agreed to take a 50% stake in SXSW. Penske will make a strategic investment in return for a 50% stake in the business. The journal said SXSW founders and owners will continue to manage and operate the festival although Penske will now own the largest stake.

SXSW was canceled in person two years in a row amid the pandemic, dealing a huge financial blow to the festival. However, the 2021 festival did host digital programming last month.

Last year, KVUE reported that the festival is one of the single most profitable events for the City of Austin. In 2019, it brought about $356 million to the city.

KVUE reached out to SXSW officials about the report and they responded saying they "not able to do interviews around this."

To view the full Wall Street Journal report, click here.


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