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Live Nation to acquire Ocesa stake in $480m deal

Ocesa Entertainment, the world's fifth-largest promoter and the parent company of Ticketmaster Mexico, is set to be majority Live Nation-owned before the end of the year

By Jon Chapple on 25 Jul 2019

CIE/Ocesa operates Mexico City's Palacio de los Deportes, which has a capacity of 26,000 for music

CIE/Ocesa operates Mexico City's Palacio de los Deportes, which has a capacity of 26,000 for music

image © Fernando Messino

Live Nation is to acquire a majority stake in Ocesa Entertainment, the largest promoter in Latin America and the fifth-biggest by ticket sales globally.

The US concert giant will acquire 51% of Ocesa – which also owns Ticketmaster Mexico – from the Inter-American Entertainment Corporation (Corporación Interamericana de Entretenimiento, CIE), a vertically integrated entertainment group often described as Mexico’s Live Nation equivalent, and Televisa Group, the largest mass media company in the Spanish-speaking world. The transaction is expected to close by the end of the year, pending regulatory approval.

Televisa will receive Mex$5.2 billion (US$273 million) for its 40% stake in Ocesa, along with a dividend of $350m (US$18.3m) on or before the deal’s closing, the company says. CIE, meanwhile, is selling an 11% equity stake, valued at $3.6bn (US$190m), and will retain 49% of Ocesa. In total, Live Nation will pay around US$480m for 51% of Ocesa.

Mexico City-based Ocesa placed fifth in Pollstar’s 2018 top 100 promoters chart, with 3.8m tickets sold, behind Live Nation, AEG Presents, Messina Touring Group and Germany’s Semmel Concerts. Meanwhile, Ticketmaster Mexico, which Ocesa has owned since 1991, is “comfortably the country’s biggest ticket seller”, according to the International Ticketing Yearbook 2018, and now claims 37m tickets sold annually.

Ocesa promotes around 3,100 shows every year, and also has interests in sponsorship, merchandise and food and beverage, while its 14 venues across Mexico have a collective capacity of 250,000. Live Nation is to also acquire an interest in Ocesa Seitrack, OCESA’s booking and artist management agency, CREA, a special and corporate event organiser, and Citibanamex Centre, an exhibition and convention venue in Mexico City.

“This next step is a logical extension for both our teams”

“We are extremely proud to join Live Nation,” says Alejandro Soberón Kuri, president and CEO of CIE. “This evolution of our long-standing relationship with Live Nation gives us a unique opportunity to continue Ocesa’s 30-year contribution to the development of the Mexican live entertainment industry. In addition, this will further foster CIE´s commitment to the promotion of Mexican artistic talent abroad.”

By IQ’s calculation, Ocesa is Live Nation’s 15th acquisition or equivalent of 2019, following Singapore’s One Production in January, Canada’s Embrace PresentsSpain’s Planet EventsTennessee’s Neste Event MarketingFinland’s BlockfestNorway’s Tons of Rock and Australia’s Moshtix (through Ticketmaster) in February, Belgium’s Antwerps Sportpaleis and New England’s Levitate in April, Denmark’s PHD Music and Los Angeles-based Spaceland Presents in May, Poland’s Go Ahead and Superfly’s share of Bonnaroo in June, and IMM’s stake in Rock in Rio earlier this month.

“Ocesa has been Live Nation’s touring, festival and ticketing partner in Mexico for years, and I admire the business Alex has built,” says Michael Rapino, president and CEO of Live Nation. “This next step is a logical extension for both our teams, and we look forward to working on many more shows together.”

Soberón Kuri will serve as CEO and sit on the board of the newly-formed joint venture, while Rapino will become chairman of its board of directors.


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