The world’s biggest concert promoter Live Nation is acquiring a 51% interest in the Latin American live entertainment organizer OCESA, owner of Ticketmaster Mexico, for $444 million.
Live Nation is buying a 40% interest in OCESA from Grupo Televisa, the largest multimedia firm in the Spanish-speaking world, and an 11% stake from the Latin American live entertainment company CIE, which will maintain the remaining 49% ownership in OCESA, according to a Live Nation press release on Monday (Sept. 13).
The deal was originally announced in July 2019, but was tabled as the COVID-19 pandemic gripped the world in 2020. The closing is anticipated to be finalized at the end of this year or in early 2022.
The move is intended to help Live Nation — which merged with Ticketmaster almost a dozen years ago — build out globally and offer enhanced services to artists who travel and put on shows for fans worldwide.
OCESA has had a hand in over 3,100 events every year for some six million fans in Mexico and Colombia. Its divisions handle ticketing, sponsorship, food, drinks, merchandise and venue operations at 13 establishments in Mexico, with total seating of close to 250,000.
President and CEO of CIE Luis Alejandro Soberón Kuri said the tie-up with Live Nation is a “natural evolution” of CIE’s long-term association with the U.S. entertainment promoter.
Kuri added that it also gives CIE a “unique opportunity” to advance the 30-year impact OCESA had put forth in developing Mexico’s live entertainment sector. “Additionally, it will help us foster CIE’s commitment to the promotion of Mexican artistic talent abroad,” he said.
OCESA has promoted some of the world’s biggest artists among the largest Latin American festivals, per the release. The company has a full schedule of big events as Mexico reopens post-pandemic. As OCESA’s primary ticketing business, Ticketmaster Mexico sells around 20 million tickets each year.
With the acquisition transaction, Live Nation also took a stake 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, per the release.
“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 Michael Rapino, president and CEO, Live Nation Entertainment. “Alex [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.”