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Live Nation Entertainment to acquire OCESA Entretenimiento

Live Nation Entertainment (LNE) is set to acquire Mexican concert promoter OCESA Entretenimiento in a $450m (£325m/€381m) deal, the Wall Street Journal has reported

The move will allow the events and venue promoter to move into the Latin American market, as well as giving Live Nation a 51% stake and controlling interest in OCESA. 

Live Nation, owner of ticket and entertainment company Ticketmaster, had originally tried to complete a deal for the Mexican entertainment business worth $400m before COVID-19 hit, but pulled out once the pandemic progressed. 

At the time, LNE was trying to acquire a 40% stake from multimedia group Grupo Televisa for around $290m and an additional 11% from another Mexican live entertainment company, Corporation Interamericana de Entretenimiento (CIE). 

Live Nation had said that it was originally terminating the purchase agreement because of CIE’s failure to comply with contractual obligations.

In the new deal, CIE will retain the remaining 41% of OCESA, while Live Nation is expected to hold back 7% of the final price to cover any possible operating losses for several quarters. 

It has also been reported that the deal should close by the end of 2021 or early 2022.

President and chief executive of CIE Alejandro Soberón Kuri will serve as chief executive and sit on the board of the newly-formed joint venture, while president and chief executive of Live Nation Entertainment Michael Rapino will become chairman of the venture’s board of directors.

Rapino said: “After serving as Live Nation’s touring, festival, and ticketing partner in Mexico for years, we know OCESA is a stellar business with deep roots in live entertainment in Mexico.

“Alex has built a remarkable company and as we continue to build on the return to live, OCESA will play a pivotal role in putting together many incredible shows in Mexico and the rest of Latin America.”

Soberón Kuri said: “We are extremely proud to finally join Live Nation. This is a natural evolution of our long-standing relationship and it gives us a unique opportunity to continue OCESA’s 30-year contribution to the development of the Mexican live entertainment industry. Additionally, it will help us foster CIE’s commitment to the promotion of Mexican artistic talent abroad.”

Image: Sebastian Ervi on Unsplash