CIE, Inbursa team on deal

Companies pact to fund entertainment center

MIAMI — CIE, Latin America’s biggest promoter of live entertainment, has reached a preliminary agreement to bring in the venture capital arm of Mexican bank Inbursa as an investor in a corporate/entertainment complex.

SINCA Inbursa will pay $35 million for a 25% stake in Administradora Mexicana de Hipodromo, the CIE subsid created to develop and manage the Las Americas project in Mexico City.

Inbursa is backed by billionaire businessman Carlos Slim. The same venture capital firm took a passive 24% stake in Televicentro, the holding company that controls Grupo Televisa, in May.

Project plans

The Las Americas project is anchored around a refurbished racetrack, which is skedded to open Saturday. It will include an entertainment center, whose units are expected to open from late 2000 through mid-2001, and later, a convention center. Baring Private Equity Partners Mexico has invested in some parts of the project.

CIE chairman and CEO Alejandro Soberon said he was seeking investment partners (Variety, March 29), since he then estimated the project would cost $120 million, of which CIE would put up between $30 million and $40 million.

CIE has formed strategic alliances with U.S. companies Lone Star Park and Autote Corp. to operate the racetrack.

Over the past few years Mexico-based CIE has been expanded from its core business of concert promotions into different entertainment sectors around Latin America and, most recently, in Spain.