Vincent E. Egan, the showman who created touring productions Sesame Street Live and the new Hello Kitty’s Supercute Friendship Festival, has announced his retirement. The VEE Corporation CEO said he plans to step down and sell the company to Blue Star Media which produces and promotes consumer shows and events. Dave Modica, COO; Jim Water, SVP of production; and Kevin Kulas, SVP of Booking and Promotions will stay on with VEE as part of the management team.
A statement from VEE Corp is below:
The acquisition was announced today by Sanjay Syal, founder and CEO of Blue Star Media LLC, and David Benyaminy, Partner at AUA Private Equity Partners, the lead investment partner in Blue Star Media LLC.
Egan is the entrepreneur whose leadership created one of the world’s most successful family entertainment companies. He founded VEE Corporation in 1980 with the dream of creating live, broad-appeal, arena shows for children and their families. It was a pioneering idea at the time that came to set a new quality standard in live entertainment for young families.
A meeting with the late Jim Henson and executives with Children’s Television Workshop (now Sesame Workshop), the non-profit educational organization behind the award-winning television program Sesame Street, led to a long-term, exclusive agreement to create life-size replicas of Henson’s Sesame Street Muppets for touring stage shows. Now in its 35th touring season, VEE continues to produce and present Sesame Street Live, the longest running touring show for children in history.
Headquartered in Minneapolis, VEE Corporation has become one of the most experienced and respected names in family-friendly entertainment and has entertained millions of children, parents and caregivers around the world with its live touring stage shows.
“It has been an honor to run VEE Corporation for the last 35 years,” Egan said. “While it was a difficult decision, I am proud of our accomplishments and am confident I have left VEE in very capable hands.”
VEE Corporation has most recently partnered with Sanrio®, the global lifestyle brand best known for Hello Kitty, to design, create and produce Hello Kitty’s Supercute Friendship Festival. Going beyond a traditional live stage show, the event will offer a unique multi-component festival atmosphere for Sanrio fans of all ages.
Also, with the expertise of its specialized subsidiaries, VEE Production Services and Costumes & Creatures, VEE provides a comprehensive one-stop shop for the support of the entertainment industry providing custom design and build services that enhance brand experiences.
“I have admired VEE Corporation for many years and am very excited about the synergy they add to our business,” said Syal, who will continue to lead both companies through their next stage of growth. “With their international experience, and venue and licensor relationships, they will accelerate our growth both in the US and abroad.”
The acquisition will allow Blue Star Media LLC to accelerate the growth and expansion of its portfolio of consumer events, national touring shows, and exhibits.
Over the last 10 years Egan mentored David Modica, VEE COO, in all aspects of the business, and is confident VEE will be in good hands with Modica as part of the new management team.
VEE Corporation, now to be referred to as VEE LLC, will continue to operate under the direction of Dave Modica, COO; Jim Water, SVP of production; and Kevin Kulas, SVP of Booking and Promotions.