Live Nation announced that it is resuming its acquisition of Mexico-based promoter Ocesa, taking on a 51% stake in the company for $444 million. The deal has been in the works for several years, but is now expected to close either later in 2021 or in early 2022. The move will dramatically increase the U.S.-based promoter’s presence in the Latin American market.
Initially, a similar deal had been struck beginning in 2019, only to see Live Nation pull out in May of 2020 after the groups couldn’t come to an agreement over a delay. Ocesa had initially considered legal action over the aborted deal, but obviously the differences were able to be patched up.
“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 Live Nation CEO Michael 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.”
The deal is subject to regulatory approval, which had been granted on its initial round, but must be confirmed again.
According to the announcement, Ocesa promotes more than 3,100 events that draw nearly 6 million attendees annually across Mexico and Colombia. It operates 13 venues across Mexico with a total capacity of 250,000 seats. Its primary ticketing company – Ticketmaster Mexico, processes around 20 million tickets annually. As part of the deal, Live Nation also acquired an interest in OcesaSeitrack, a booking and artist management venture, ICREA, a special event speciality company, and Centro Citibanamex, a convention center in Mexico City.
After the deal is closed, Kuri will serve as CEO of the joint venture, while Rapino will be Chairman of its board of directors.