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Live Nation acquires MAMA in UK as German expansion announced

By | Published on Tuesday 4 August 2015

Live Nation

Live Nation’s bid for world domination continues with two key deals in Europe, acquiring MAMA & Company in the UK via its joint venture with Gaiety Investments, and launching a new joint venture in Germany with Marek Lieberberg, a leading promoter in the country.

There has been much speculation in recent weeks that Live Nation was close to securing a deal to acquire London-based independent venue and festival operator MAMA & Company, which owns a number of venues in London and other British cities, plus festivals like Lovebox, Wilderness and The Great Escape.

MAMA has been controlled by Lloyds ever since the bank financed the management buyout that took the live firm out of the then flagging HMV Group back in 2012. Word has it that Lloyds began considering a sale of MAMA when it was approached by a possible buyer at the start of the year, with Live Nation being mooted as an imminent new owner for at least a few weeks now.

Confirming the deal, Live Nation’s UK chief Paul Latham said this morning: “We are delighted to be welcoming new venues, and some that we have previously managed, into the group. Likewise MAMA have made great strides with their festivals and the creativity they have demonstrated will be complementary to LN-Gaiety’s existing portfolio”.

The MAMA deal in the UK follows the big new alliance in Germany. That JV will result in the creation of Live Nation Concerts Germany, to be headed up by the aforementioned Lieberberg, which will start promoting gigs and festivals in Germany, Austria and Switzerland as of 1 Jan next year. Lieberberg’s son Andre will become President of the new venture too.

As well as ramping up Live Nation’s presence in the German market as a promoter, the deal is also a big boost for the live major’s ticketing business Ticketmaster, which will be the primary ticketing provider to the new venture. This is noteworthy because in the past Lieberberg has been allied to Ticketmaster’s arch rival CTS Eventim.

Confirming the new deal, Live Nation big cheese Michael Rapino told reporters: “I have worked with Marek and Andre for over 20 years, and they are clearly among the top promoters in the world. Having them lead Live Nation’s concert business for Germany is an ideal fit, and continuing to build on our global scale in concerts provides our sponsors with increased access to fans in an important European market while adding millions of tickets to our Ticketmaster inventory”.

And Lieberberg added: “Becoming a part of Live Nation is the dream of every promoter. Gaining access to Live Nation’s concert platform and sponsorship team will take our business to another level, and accessing Ticketmaster’s leading technology will enable us to reach more fans and provide them with a unique service”.