Live Nation has resumed its acquisition of a 51% controlling interest in Ocesa Entretenimiento, a leading promoter in Latin America and owner of Ticketmaster Mexico, for an aggregate purchase price of $8,835,000,000 in Mexican dollars, or approximately $444 million U.S. The acquisition was first announced back in 2019 for a reported $480 million but delayed due to the pandemic; changes in the exchange rate account for a large percentage of a current lower prince. Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino has said the company planned to move ahead with the deal, which is now expected to close later this year or early in 2022.
Live Nation is buying the stake from CIE, a prominent player in the live entertainment industry in Latin America, and Grupo Televisa, the largest multimedia company in the Spanish-speaking world.
The deal is subject to regulatory approval, which was previously granted during prior negotiations and must be confirmed once again now that the deal is proceeding.
According to the announcement, Ocesa promotes more than 3,100 events for nearly 6 million fans in a typical year across Mexico and Colombia and has a robust business portfolio in ticketing, sponsorship, food & beverage, merchandise, and venue operation with 13 premier venues across Mexico with a collective capacity of nearly 250,000 seats. Ocesa has promoted concerts for major artists in the world including Coldplay, Paul McCartney, and U2 as well as some of the largest festivals in Latin America like Corona Capital, Pal Norte, and EDC Mexico, the latter of which they are a core partner in alongside Insomniac, a subsidiary of Live Nation.
Ocesa’s primary ticketing business, Ticketmaster Mexico, is a leading ticketing company in Mexico, with around 20 million tickets sold annually. As part of the transaction, Live Nation also acquired an interest in OcesaSeitrack, Ocesa’s booking and artist management joint venture; ICREA, one of Mexico’s special and corporate event specialists; and Centro Citibanamex, an exhibition and convention center in Mexico City.
“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,” said Rapino, adding that CIE President/CEO Alejandro Soberón Kuri “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.”
“We are extremely proud to finally join Live Nation,” said Kuri. “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.
Live Nation is considering various options to finance the purchase price for the acquisition, which include the issuance of equity securities subject to market conditions. LionTree Advisors served as financial advisor to Live Nation in connection with the transaction.