Live Nation continued its acquisition spree in 2011 by adding to its promotion, management, ticketing and ecommerce divisions. The company's 2011 annual report offers a detailed look at how the multi-faceted music giant got bigger last year.
Front Line, Live Nation's artist management division, acquired a 50% interest in Quest Management (Paul McCartney, Arcade Fire, Bjork); a 50% interest in Quietus Management Limited (Simply Red, Simple Minds, Suede); a 50% stake in Jeff Battaglia Management (Disturbed and Art of Dying); a 50% interest in Ron Laffitte's Laffitte Management Group (Morrissey, Azealia Banks); and the remaining interests in Vector Management and Vector West (Kings of Leon, Kid Rock, Lynyrd Skynrd, Trace Adkins, Dierks Bentley, Ke$ha). Artist Nation also acquired a 75% interest in Australian T-shirt printing and merchandising company T-Shirt Printers.
In addition, Artist Nation had one management divestiture in 2011: its 50% interest in Spectacle Entertainment Group (Rob Zombie, the Monkees). Spectacle was created in 2005 by Andy Gould and Dan Dalton. Front Line first entered into a strategic alliance with Spectacle in 2006.
On the promotion side of the business, Live Nation acquired a 54% stake in Live Nation Ontario Concerts; a 51% stake in LN-HS Concerts; and a 56.9% interest in UK blues and jazz festival promoters Full Circle.
In January 2011, Ticketmaster acquired all of the net assets of Ticketmaster Group Limited Partnership, a Maryland limited partnership. Ticketmaster expanded its footprint outside the U.S. through the previously publicized acquisition of Serviticket in April.
Finally, as previously reported at Billboard.biz, Live Nation's ecommerce division a cquired a 50% stake in entertainment analytics company BigChampagne in December. That news item was seen all over the Internet, but the parts about the acquiring division (which shows where BigChampagne sits in the company's organization chart) and the stake acquired were not made public.
The volume of deals in 2011 was comparable to that of 2010. In that year Live Nation acquired a portion or all of 6 management companies, 6 promoters a ticketing company (Ticketnet in France) and online music photography seller Rock, Paper, Photo, a partnership between Live Nation and artist manager Guy Oseary (Madonna).