Live Nation’s acquisition of Altice Arena held up
Portugal’s Competition Authority has expressed doubts about the competitive effect of Live Nation’s acquisition of Altice Arena, the country’s largest arena.
In April, it was revealed that Live Nation was purchasing a majority stake in the arena’s owner, Arena Atlântico, in addition to an “indirect controlling stake” in leading promoter Ritmos e Blues.
Now, the deal is undergoing an in-depth investigation by the Competition Authority that will prolong a final decision on whether LN can purchase the arena, according to national newspaper Expresso.
Chief among the regulator’s concerns are Live Nation’s “incentives to operate Altice Arena for its own benefit” as well as “the private or total closure of access to the Altice Arena by third party promoters”.
Rival concert and festival promoter Everything Is New is reportedly the only industry competitor to oppose the acquisition.
Upon announcement of the acquisition, Live Nation said “Daily operations at the arena will continue to be led by their senior management team and the arena’s employees,” and that “The acquisition is expected to close later this year upon completion of customary closing conditions, including approval from Portugal’s competition authority.”
Live Nation’s acquisition of Ritmos e Blues would solidify a partnership between the two companies that dates back to 2012
Altice Arena owner Arena Atlântico is controlled by a consortium that includes Ritmos e Blues, Luís Montez (owner of the promoter Música no Coração) and Jorge Vinha da Silva, among others.
The 21,000-capacity arena last year recorded the best financial results in its 25-year history, closing the year with more than €16 million in revenue.
Live Nation’s acquisition of Ritmos e Blues would solidify a partnership between the two companies that dates back to 2012 when the companies joined forces with Rock in Rio’s promoter to “substantially grow the live events market”.
Ritmos e Blues (Rhythm and Blues) has promoted concerts for the likes of Whitney Houston, Bruce Springsteen, Bryan Adams, Dire Straits, Michael Jackson, Prince, Phil Collins, U2, Rolling Stones, George Michael and The Police.
Founded in 1990 by Nuno Braamcamp and Álvaro Ramos, the promoter was responsible for several of the first stadium concerts in the country, including a groundbreaking event with Tina Turner at the Estádio de Alvalade in 1990 with 65,000 spectators.
The Lisbon-based firm is also a co-producer of Rock in Rio Lisbon, one of the biggest music festivals in Europe, which has been taking place since 2004.
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