Live Nation heads to Mexico, Brazil

Concert giant cuts deals with CIE and T4F

NASHVILLE -- Live Nation has made a major foray into South America, cutting a five-year exclusive distribution deal with CIE and T4F that gives LN a huge presence in Mexico and Brazil.

CIE is the third-largest concert promoter in the world, according to Billboard Boxscore.

The deal effectively locks down Mexico and South America for Live Nation on most major tours in this vital and growing region, where LN has not been a dominant promoter.

"Wherever we can, we want to have a Live Nation office executing, and we haven't had that in Latin America, largely because CIE is just so dominant," said Jason Garner, CEO North American Music. "In a region where we had zero market share, to form an exclusive deal like this gives us immediate entry. It didn't cost us a lot of money to get in, and we get the most proven execution and venue partner in the region."

Although the deal has been in the works for a year, Garner said Live Nation and CIE already had a relationship in place through LN's global touring division.

"We wanted to formalize that relationship to make it exclusive and then add on the important South America piece to really complete our Latin America play," he said. "It was driven by a mutual desire between the two companies to find a way to formalize what has been a very friendly relationship. They were looking for a steady supply of talent, and we were looking for an exclusive execution partner."

Producing live concerts that drew more than 6 million music fans last year, CIE generated more than $1 billion in revenue and margins approaching 21%, according to Live Nation. CIE, which is publicly traded on the Mexican stock exchange, also operates its own ticketing platform in many markets including Mexico City, Guadalajara and Monterrey.

LN said CIE produces more than 85% of all the live concerts by international talent in Mexico, which has a population of more than 100 million. Brazil's T4F operates top venues in Sao Paulo, Buenos Aires, Lima, Rio de Janeiro, Santiago and Porto Alegre, all of which are emerging as important new markets for international talent.

Ocesa, CIE's live entertainment division in Mexico, is a vital component of the deal. "If you're a world-class artist, you don't work in Mexico without working with Ocesa," Garner said. "By having an exclusive relationship with them it really gives us a nice advantage when we're sitting down talking with an artist, that we have this great partner South of the border."