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Live Nation resumes acquisition of Ocesa for $444m

Live Nation has resumed its acquisition of Ocesa, the third-largest promoter in the world and the parent company of Ticketmaster Mexico.

The US$444 million deal, if completed, would give the world’s largest live entertainment company a 51% stake in one of its largest competitors, which dominates the Latin American market.

The acquisition, which was paused due to the pandemic, is now expected to close by late 2021 or early 2022, subject to regulatory approval.

Live Nation originally agreed to buy 51% of Ocesa for over $400m in summer 2019 but pulled out of the deal in May last year, just a month after Mexican competition regulators approved the deal.

Following the termination of the deal, Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino said that he was “long term, still bullish on [Ocesa’s] business and ours” but that Live Nation was “not looking to take on any losses from Mexico while they’re going through their six or eight months of business downturn”.

“Ocesa will play a pivotal role in putting together many incredible shows in Mexico and the rest of Latin America”

The joint sellers of the stake are the Inter-American Entertainment Corporation (Corporación Interamericana de Entretenimiento, or CIE) and Grupo Televisa, a media giant in the Spanish-speaking world.

Live Nation is reportedly buying a 40% stake in Ocesa from Grupo Televisa, and 11% of the concert promoter from CIE.

CIE will hold on to the remaining 49% minority stake in Ocesa. Live Nation is expected to hold back 7% of the closing price to cover any potential operating losses for several quarters.

“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,” says Michael Rapino, president and CEO, Live Nation Entertainment.

“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.”

“This deal gives us a unique opportunity to continue Ocesa’s 30-year contribution to the development of the Mexican live sector”

Alejandro Soberón Kuri, president and CEO of CIE, added: “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.”

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

Ocesa promotes more than 3,100 events for nearly six million fans annually across Mexico and Colombia and has a robust business portfolio in ticketing, sponsorship, food & beverage, merchandise, and venue operation – including 13 premier venues across Mexico with a collective capacity of nearly 250,000 seats.

Ocesa’s primary ticketing business, Ticketmaster Mexico, is a leading ticket company in Mexico.

 


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Ocesa spearheads Colombia’s first drive-in shows

Colombian promoters Ocesa Colombia and Páramo Presenta have announced the country’s first drive-in concerts.

The shows, staged in partnership with Live Nation, will be held in the car park of the Salitre Mágico theme park in Bogota. Organisers expect the first concerts, which will include a range of artists and genres, to take place in early October, Páramo Presenta’s Sergio Pabón tells radio show La W.

Initially only open to cars, the shows will be opened up to motorbikes towards the end of the year, he adds.

In Colombia, concerts and other large events are excluded from a loosening of coronavirus restrictions scheduled for 30 September.

“We want fans to enjoy the music and have fun from their vehicles”

Ocesa Colombia’s Luz Ángela Castro says there will capacity for 290 vehicles, “with a minimum of two people in the car and a maximum of four”.

The promoters expect to announce dates and an initial line-up next month. “We have complied with what the public asks of us, and that is also what we want: That fans enjoy [the music] and have fun from their vehicles,” adds Ángela Castro. “Now the public must help us” by buying tickets, he says.

The first drive-in shows in Latin America took place in Puerto Rico in July, courtesy of Move Concerts, closely followed by similar events in Mexico.

Ocesa Colombia’s Mexico-based parent company, Ocesa, was supposed to have been acquired by Live Nation this year. However, the deal was controversially called off in May after LN, reeling from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, said it could not agree revised terms with Ocesa owners CIE and Televisa Group.


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Live Nation pulls out of Ocesa acquisition [updated]

Updated (27 May): Live Nation confirmed in an SEC filing yesterday that the company has terminated its ‘material definitive agreement’ to acquire 51% of Ocesa after being unable to agree revised terms with CIE and Televisa.

“On May 25, 2020, Live Nation notified CIE that it was terminating the CIE purchase agreement as a result of CIE’s failure to comply with its contractual obligation to continue operating the target companies [Ocesa] in the ordinary course of business and the occurrence of a material adverse effect (as that term is defined in the CIE purchase agreement),” reads the 8-K form, dated 25 May, which appears to say CIE and Televisa’s failure to keep Ocesa operating as normal amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic is grounds for cancelling the acquisition.

“Live Nation simultaneously notified TV that it was terminating the TV purchase agreement, which agreement may be terminated if the CIE Purchase Agreement is terminated for any reason.

“Live Nation has commenced binding arbitration proceedings, seated in New York, New York, before the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce, seeking a declaratory judgment that it has properly terminated the CIE purchase agreement and that any obligations thereunder are excused on the grounds set forth above, among others.”

 


CIE, one of two parent companies of leading Mexican promoter Ocesa Entertainment, has told investors that Live Nation’s impending acquisition of Ocesa is no longer going ahead, after the US concert giant exercised “an alleged right to terminate” the agreement, one “with which CIE disagrees”.

Live Nation announced last July it intended to acquire 51% of Ocesa, which also owns Ticketmaster Mexico, from CIE and Televisa Group for a combined US$480 million, with the transaction expected to close by the end of 2019.

According to CIE, on 5 May (two days before Live Nation announced its Q1 2020 results) the parties signed a ‘standstill agreement’ that put the deal on hold; that agreement, reports Televisa, has now expired, with no agreement on terms of the acquisition reached.

CIE “will continue to analyse its alternatives and reserves all of its rights under the agreements executed in connection with [the] transaction and the applicable laws”, according to a notice filed by the company today (26 May) with the Mexican Stock Exchange (BMV).

Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino spoke about the deal during the company’s Q1 investor call, saying the company needed to pause the deal; while he is “long term, still bullish on [Ocesa’s] business and ours”, Rapino explained, Live Nation “is not looking to take on any losses from Mexico while they’re going through their six or eight months of business downturn” due to Covid-19, reports MBW.

“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,” he added. “So that’s the intent.”

Televisa – which owns 41% of Ocesa compared to CIE’s 11% – said on 7 May it agrees that Live Nation does not have the right to terminate the agreement unilaterally.

 


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Uncertainty for promoters as Covid-19 spreads in Latam

Promoters in Latin America are facing much uncertainty as shows are shut down, curfews imposed and currency values decline due to the worsening spread of coronavirus

The first case of Covid-19 was reported in Latin America in late February, in the Brazilian city of São Paulo. The virus has now spread to many other countries in the region, including Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela.

In the region’s biggest touring markets, quarantines are in place in Argentina, Colombia and parts of Brazil. In Chile, the government has imposed a curfew between the hours of 10 p.m. and 5 a.m, with over one million residents of its capital, Santiago, put under lockdown today (26 March).

This week, the Mexican government placed a ban on all public and private gatherings of over 100 people for the next month, as the country moved into phase two of the epidemic.

“It is still way too early to gauge the full impact in the mid and long term,” says Phil Rodriguez, CEO of Move Concerts, which has offices in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Peru and Puerto Rico, as well as its Miami headquarters. “The first impact is that shows and festivals have been cancelled or rescheduled.”

“For now, we are rescheduling shows from September onwards assuming that is a safe bet, but this could change.”

Major festivals in Latin America affected by the virus include the Lollapalooza festival franchise, which has been rescheduled for 23 to 26 November in Argentina, 27 to 29 November in Chile and 4 to 6 December in Brazil. Estéreo Picnic, due to take place in the Colombian capital of Bogotá in March, has now moved to the start of December.

“For now, we are rescheduling shows from September onwards assuming that is a safe bet, but this could change”

Rodriguez notes that promoters’ associations in all markets have been meeting and reaching out to governments for assistance in various forms, such as “ low interest credit lines, moratorium on taxes and extensions on the time period for reimbursements on cancelled shows.”

Asked what can be expected over the next few months, Rodriguez simply replies: “I wish I knew”.

“This is a continually changing scenario that can change at any minute and has so many parts involved that any speculation is sheer conjecture,” says the Move Concerts boss. “I think we all need a few more weeks to get a better handle on the longer term picture.”

Guillermo Parra, director of international events at Ocesa, the largest promoter in Latin America, agrees that the upcoming weeks “will be crucial”.

Live Nation announced its plan to acquire a controlling stake in Ocesa Entertainment, the world’s fifth-largest promoter and the parent company of Ticketmaster Mexico, in July last year. The promoter puts around 3,100 shows a year and operates 14 venues across Mexico.

“At the moment, all gatherings have been banned – from movie theaters to concerts – until 19 April,” says Parra, “but I honestly think this will go on for longer.”

“When we wake from the virus nightmare, the economic reality will begin”

In Chile, a market which has seen heavy disruption over the past few months due to wide-spread anti-government protests, promoters are rescheduling shows to June, subject to venue availability and touring schedules, says Carlos Geniso, president of DG Medios.

On 18 March, Chilean president Sebastian Piñera declared a “state of catastrophe” for 90 days in the whole country, including a ban on gatherings in public spaces and the establishing of a quarantine and curfew. After Brazil, the country is currently one of the worst affected in the region, with 1,142 confirmed cases.

“We are trying to move as much we can to the last quarter calendar of 2020,” says Geniso, adding that the income loss for thousands of people working in the country’s live industry “will be great for a long period of time”.

The economic impact of the virus is of great concern for all in Latin America. Rodriguez states that Brazil and Colombia have been hit particularly hard by the virus, not just in terms of numbers – Brazil has reported 2,201 cases and Colombia has 378 – but rather because “the exchange rate with the dollar has skyrocketed”.

One dollar is equivalent to 5.05 Brazilian reales, up from BRL4.45 at the end of February, whereas 4,066 Colombian pesos now equal $1, increasing from COP3,460 a month ago.

In Mexico, Parra states that, between the virus and declining oil prices, “the Mexican peso has been crushed”. The Mexican currency fell to a record low against the dollar earlier this week, with $1 selling for over 25 pesos on Monday.

“When we wake from the virus nightmare, the economic reality will begin,” says Parra.

Photo: Leonardo Samran/Flickr (CC BY 2.0) (cropped)

 


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LN strengthens Latam presence with DG Medios stake

Live Nation has acquired a majority stake in independent Chilean concert promoter DG Medios, as the live entertainment behemoth further strengthens its foothold in Latin America.

The stake adds to majority shareholdings for Live Nation in Argentina’s DF Entertainment, Brazilian festival Rock in Rio and major Mexican promoter Ocesa Entertainment.

IQ calculates that Live Nation has taken a majority shareholding in 19 promoters, festivals and other live music-related businesses worldwide this year.

Santiago-based DG Medios, which was founded by well known regional promoter Carlos Geniso, sold over 330,000 tickets last year and has promoted shows by U2, Rolling Stones, Guns N’ Roses, Paul McCartney and Justin Bieber.

“DG Medios is another important step in expanding our footprint across Latin America”

According to the International Ticketing Yearbook 2019, the promoter is one of a number of local players, along with Lotus and Bizarro, that contribute to “the health of Chile’s live music market”.

Live Nation has co-promoted with DG Medios owner Geniso, who will continue to oversee all operations at the company, for tours by the likes of Bon Jovi, Bruno Mars, Phil Collins, Depeche Mode and Harry Styles.

Live Nation president and CEO Michael Rapino says he is “thrilled to be in business with legendary Chilean promoter Carlos Geniso”, adding that, “DG Medios is another important step in expanding our footprint across Latin America.”

Geniso comments that: “Teaming up with Live Nation will give us access to resources that will be instrumental in growing our substantial roster of shows even further. The DG Medios team and I are excited to provide even more memorable experiences for fans.”

 


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Major moves: consolidation sweeps the ticketing sector

The past 12 months have seen big-money deals by global firms who have been expanding their reach through buying up existing companies.

Eventim’s major expansion into the €800 million French live music market will see it establish a joint venture with the retailer by the end of 2019. Under the proposed new structure, Eventim would acquire 48% of France Billet, with an option to increase its holding to a majority stake over the next four years. It is folding its Eventim French business into the partnership, and the established brands – which in addition to Francebillet.com include Fnacspectacles.com and Billetreduc.com – will remain in operation.

This move will be a blow for Paris-headquartered multimedia conglomeration Vivendi, which owns the local company Digitick and was the third-largest competitor behind France Billet and Ticketmaster.

Leapfrogging its rivals, Eventim has secured the top position in the ticketing space. However, it currently does not have a promoter presence in France, unlike Live Nation or Vivendi, the latter of which owns the venues L’Olympia (1,996-cap.) and Theâtre de L’Œuvre (326-cap.) in Paris, as well as Olympia Production, the operator of a number of French festivals including Les Déferlantes (12,000-cap.) and Garorock (45,000-cap.).

In 2017-18, Eventim bought three significant promoters in Italy – Vertigo, Friends and Partners, and D’Alessandro e Galli (Di and Gi) – solidifying its brand TicketOne as the dominant ticketer in the country after Ticketmaster opened operations there in 2017.

On the other side of the world, Live Nation Entertainment’s (LNE) $480m decision to buy a 51% stake in Ocesa Entertainment, the largest promoter in Latin America, and owner of Ticketmaster Mexico, is noteworthy.

Promoting about 3,100 shows a year, Ocesa reportedly sold 3.8m tickets in 2018. Ticketmaster Mexico is comfortably the country’s biggest ticket seller, with around 37m tickets sold each year.

While LNE and Ocesa have had a long partnership, this move significantly enhances the global entertainment company’s footprint

While LNE and Ocesa have had a long partnership through touring, festivals and the Ticketmaster brand, this move significantly enhances the global entertainment company’s footprint.

It demonstrates LNE’s growing confidence in the Latin American market and will likely lead to an increasing number of tours by international talent to the continent, and potentially further acquisitions of promoters, ticketing companies or venues.

What impact it will have on Ticketmaster in the US, where the second language is Spanish, remains to be seen. The Spanish- language market in the US is arguably currently underserved, and this could be seen as an internal growth opportunity for the global behemoth.

But more importantly, this could be part of a wider move by LNE into Latin America, where the firm historically has no major presence. Last year it acquired one of Argentina’s top promoters, DF Entertainment, while earlier in 2018, it took a stake in one of the largest music festivals in the world, Rock in Rio (100,000-cap), recently increasing its holding to 60%, which could be a sign that Ticketmaster is preparing to make a move into Brazil. Does this indicate a strategy of expansion across the region? We’ll have to wait and see.

LNE-owned Ticketmaster also bought Australia and New Zealand’s most significant independent ticketing company, Moshtix, in February, further expanding its presence in a market where it competes fiercely with TEG’s Ticketek.

Although it’s not likely to shift the balance of power, Ticketmaster’s move will add another indie brand to its suite of ticketing platforms.

Meanwhile, TEG grew its Asian reach by buying the Philippines-based ticketing company TicketWorld. This adds to its existing interests in Malaysia, Hong Kong and Macau. As well as major international tours by the likes of Guns N’ Roses and Katy Perry, TicketWorld has a strong presence in the local theatre market, and provides ticket services to Philippines’ venues including Solaire Resort and Casino, Resorts World Manila, BGC Arts Center and the Cultural Center of the Philippines.

What we can say is that the last 12 months have seen no sign of the trend for consolidation slowing down – and it may just be hotting up even further

“We see great opportunities in many Asian markets and our strategy puts us on course to becoming a truly pan-Asian promoter,” said TEG CEO Geoff Jones at the time.

While not strictly new acquisitions, DEAG continued its policy of wholly owning companies by completing the purchase of the MyTicket platform, which going forward will be powered by the Secutix SaaS solution, while Eventim completed its takeover of German online movie ticketing platform Kinoheld and Scandinavian ticketing solution Venuepoint.

So what’s next? In the fast-moving world of ticketing, it’s hard to say.

India’s BookMyShow sells some 20m tickets a month, mainly in the cinema sector, but is looking to grow further into live entertainment. In 2018, COO of non-films at BookMyShow Albert Almeida told the Economic Times the firm wants to increase its revenues from non-cinema events from 30% to 50% by 2020.

It is one of the ticketing partners at the newly opened Coca-Cola Arena in Dubai and is addressing a lack of infrastructure in its home country by building its touring venues and producing its own shows. At a recent fundraising round, the company was valued at $1 billion, and there is still huge potential in the country of 1.3bn people. But maybe it will look to acquire in new markets, or further consolidate its position in the Middle East.

Another interesting area is the growing trend of Chinese companies taking an interest in Western music companies (for example, Tencent acquired a 10% stake in Universal Music, with an option to take another 10% in a year). Could we see a Chinese firm take an interest in a ticketing company outside of its homeland?

What we can say is that the last 12 months have seen no sign of the trend for consolidation slowing down – and it may just be hotting up even further.

For more insight into the state of the global ticketing industry, read IQ’s International Ticketing Yearbook 2019.


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International Ticketing Yearbook 2019 out now

The International Ticketing Yearbook 2019 (ITY), the latest comprehensive review of the state of the global ticketing industry, is now available to read in print and online.

The print issue of ITY 2019 will be distributed along with the recently published IQ 85, providing in-depth profiles of 44 key global markets and features exploring the best in ticketing technology, innovative paperless ticket solutions and the impact of consolidation across the ticketing sector.

Following on from the success of last year, ITY 2019 contains figures for the estimated value of live music ticket sales in each market and a projection of sales for four years’ time. The statistics, taken from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) year-end estimates, signal the 20 markets that are expected to gross the most from ticket sales in 2019, with the United States, Germany and Japan leading the pack.

“Dynamism and innovation” continue to characterise the sector, according to editor James Drury, with “modernising forces” overhauling the ticket buying process in Brazil, Scandinavia, Hong Kong, Mexico, Poland and Singapore, among others.

Advances in facial recognition and augmented reality technology, the growth of “subscription-based models” and the “explosion in mobile ticketing” are among the most exciting of recent developments, according to Drury.

“New tech is not only helping combat fraud, but also means there can be a better understanding for who is attending events”

“New tech being used by ticketing firms is not only helping combat fraud, but also means there can be a better understanding for who is attending events,” says Drury. “This offers exciting opportunities to understand audiences better and provide better services and experiences as a result.”

Consolidation of the ticketing sector is also put under the microscope in the new edition of ITY.

“The last 12 months have seen some significant acquisitions, not least CTS Eventim’s move into France, and Live Nation Entertainment’s buy-out of Mexico’s Ocesa Entertainment,” writes Drury, stating that the “two big-money developments” could have “wide-reaching impact”.

The fight against secondary ticketing also rumbles on, as promoters and ticketing executives in Norway, Spain, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Japan and Italy voice their discontent with the continuation of for-profit resale.

The print edition of the International Ticketing Yearbook is free to subscribers of IQ Magazine (subscribe here), and will be distributed at events including Reeperbahn Festival in Germany, Eurosonic Noorderslag in the Netherlands, Moscow Ticketing Forum in Russia, Ticket Summit and Intix in the US, LatAm in Chile and the Ticketing Professionals Conference in the UK over the next 12 months.

Read the digital copy of ITY 2019 below:


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LN share price hits all time high post Q2 results

Live Nation’s latest financial report shows strong growth for the company, which has grown its share price by 50% in 2019 so far.

The results follow a successful first quarter for the live entertainment behemoth, with shares rising from US$48 to $72.5 since the start of the year. Shares hit a high of $73 yesterday (25 July), up $2 from the pre-results release, settling at $72.5 at market close.

Shares in Live Nation (LYV) have grown at an increasingly swift rate, breaking the $70 mark just one year after hitting $50 in July 2018. The second quarter of 2017 saw the company top the $40 mark for the first time, just six months after breaking $30.

In Thursday’s earnings call, Live Nation president and chief executive Michael Rapino stated he was “excited” about the acquisition of a $480m stake in leading Latin American promoter Ocesa, as it “lays a big foundation to how we can continue to build our Latin American business.”

In Q2, Live Nation grew revenue to $3.2 billion, up 10% on the previous year’s figures, with operating income up 27% to $172 million and adjusted operating income (AOI) up 23% to $319m.

“The demand for live music is strong and growing from the largest stadiums to the local clubs”

Ticket revenues grew by 16% for the first half of the year. Ticket sales for artists outside the company’s top 100 increased 32%, “demonstrating that the demand for live music is strong and growing from the largest stadiums to the local clubs.”

In the second quarter alone, a record number of 27 million fans attended 10,000 shows, up 7% and 9% respectively from the previous year.

Live Nation-owned Ticketmaster grew operating income 31%. Partnerships with venues such as Evenko in Canada and the O2 in Prague, Czech Republic, have contributed to the ticketing service’s presence this quarter.

“2019 is on track for the company to deliver double-digit operating income and AOI growth along with strong gains in revenue,” says Rapino. “Each of our businesses is contributing to this success.”

 


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Live Nation to acquire Ocesa stake in $480m deal

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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Trump win “devastating” for Mexican live industry

A Republican victory in the 8 November US presidential election would be a disaster for its neighbour to the south, Mexico’s largest concert promoter has warned.

Speaking to IQ, Guillermo Parra Riveros, director of international events at Ocesa, says the financial turmoil economists predict a Donald Trump presidency would usher in could be “devastating for the Mexican economy” and its live music industry.

“For the last four weeks,” Riveros explains, “a major factor in the value of [Mexican currency] the peso has been who has been leading in the US election polls. Currently we are at Mex$19.20 [to US$1], but analysts predict a Trump victory could take it to Mex$25 to US$1.”

Despite the prospect of paying artists suddenly becoming a lot more expensive, Riveros says Ocesa – part of the CIE group and the world’s fourth-largest promoter – hasn’t made any contingency plans, but for now is “keeping our fingers crossed he [Trump] will not win”.

“We’re keeping our fingers crossed he will not win”

Currency fluctuations are also a concern for Dan Steinberg of US-based Emporium Presents – although, understandably, he’s more concerned about the value of the US dollar. “The dollar’s in a great place at the moment,” he explains. “When [George W.] Bush was in office the Canadian dollar was worth 10% more – now it’s at 70% of US$1. […] If Trump should win, the dollar will go down – there’s no question.”

Besides the currency question, however, Steinberg says a Trump presidency would have little effect on the American touring business, despite the Republican nominee’s infamously tough stance on immigration to the US. “I don’t see immigration as being equivalent to visas,” he explains. “The American people want to be entertained, and don’t see him standing in the way of commerce…

“It’s not going to stop acts coming.”

Steinberg also emphasises that despite the US president being theoretically the most powerful person in the world, “he’s really not that powerful”.

“Anything he wants to do on the legal side or the financial side has to be approved [by Congress],” he explains. “Obama is the most powerful person in the world and they’ve just blocked his supreme court nominee! So he [Trump] can’t just make laws.”

“The American people want to be entertained, and don’t see Trump standing in the way of commerce”

In the UK, meanwhile, the spectre of a Trump presidency is compounding the misery caused by the Brexit-induced fall in the pound sterling. Research by foreign exchange company WorldFirst reveals British small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) – or companies with fewer than 250 employees – are exposed to £34.6 billion worth of currency risks in the run-up to an unpredictable election.

WorldFirst’s Jeremy Cook says: “UK SMEs need to brace themselves for a bumpy road ahead. We’ve seen the pound fall against the dollar by record amounts over the past few months, and for businesses without the right foreign exchange protection this can add a lot of pressure on margins.”

More than 120 million Americans are expected to cast their vote in the election, with the final polling booths closing around 1am GMT. Last year’s victor, Barack Obama, was declared winner at 4.38am.

 


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