Live Nation buys 51% stake in OCESA, the world’s third biggest concert promoter, for $416m

Michael Rapino, CEO & President, Live Nation Entertainment

It was a mega-money deal that was last year thrown off course by the pandemic, and the uncertainty surrounding live music concerts in general.

But today (December 6), Live Nation has finally closed the acquisition of a 51% stake in Mexico-headquartered OCESA Entretenimiento.

Live Nation says OCESA is the world’s third largest concert promoter.

Live Nation initially entered into an agreement to acquire the stake in summer 2019, but the deal collapsed in May last year amid the widespread cancellation of live shows due to Covid-19.

At the time, Live Nation CEO, Michael Rapino noted that, one day in the future, he’d still like the deal to happen, commenting: “We want to delay the cash payment of the deal until we both know how and when we’re on the other side of this crisis.”

That day has now arrived: Live Nation has this evening confirmed that it is spending an aggregate purchase price of MXN $8.835 billion (approx USD $416 million) to acquire the majority stake in OCESA.

That 51% stake is being sold by two parties – CIE, a prominent player in the live entertainment industry in Latin America, and Grupo Televisa, the largest media company in the Spanish-speaking world.

Seven percent of the $416 million purchase price (around $29 million) is being held back and retained by Live Nation to cover operating losses, if any, for a period of time following closing.

OCESA promotes thousands of events for millions of fans in a typical year across Mexico and Colombia and operates across ticketing, sponsorship, food & beverage, merchandise, and venue operation – owning 13 premier venues across Mexico.

OCESA’s primary ticketing business, Ticketmaster Mexico,  sells around 20 million tickets annually.

“As we continue to bring shows back around the world, we’re excited to officially welcome OCESA into Live Nation,” said Michael Rapino, President and CEO, Live Nation Entertainment.

“Alex and the OCESA team are incredible at what they do and together we look forward to creating even more amazing live experiences across Mexico and Latin America.”

“As we continue to bring shows back around the world, we’re excited to officially welcome OCESA into Live Nation.”

Michael Rapino, Live Nation

Alejandro Soberón Kuri, Chairman of the Board and Chief Operating Officer of CIE, said: “This strategic agreement extends the already successful relationship we have with Live Nation and we are very proud to take it to the next level.

“We are very excited to finally join forces with Michael and his team. Together with the world leader, we will continue to add value and growth to the business, bringing the best entertainment to Mexico and Latin America.”

Soberón Kuri will serve as CEO and sit on the board of the newly-formed joint venture. Michael Rapino will become Chairman of the venture’s board of directors.

Live Nation posted company-wide revenues of $2.69 billion in Q3 2021 across divisions including concerts, ticketing and advertising & sponsorship.Music Business Worldwide

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