DEAG Hitches Up With AEG And ACE

DEAG chief Peter Schwenkow has cut deals to promote live shows in Germany with AEG and bought a majority share in Hermjo Klein’s Arena Concert & Event (ACE).

Apart from DEAG becoming AEG’s preferred promoter in Germany for its international tours, the July 4th deal makes provision for the new company to promote shows, mainly in the venues they operate in Berlin and Frankfurt.

AEG is developing the new 17,000-seat, multi-purpose O2 World arena on the site of the old Ostgüterbahnhof in Berlin, while DEAG has the city’s 21,000-capacity Waldbuehne and the 4,800-capacity Frankfurt Jahrhunderthalle.

Schwenkow, who was touring Germany with a classical package including Placido Domingo, Anna Netrebko and Nigel Kennedy when the news broke, told Pollstar that the so-far unnamed company will be looking to expand its venue management portfolio.

The negotiations were carried out with AEG President Tim Leiweke and, according to the DEAG chief, they’d been going on for “years.”

Over the last couple of years, AEG has run tours for an impressive roster of international talent including Bon Jovi, Paul McCartney, Prince, Usher, Rod Stewart, Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, and Christina Aguilera.

It’s also developing a 20,000-plus capacity arena within London’s old Millennium Dome. Like the Berlin arena, the branding has already been sold to the O2 telecommunications giant.

Schwenkow’s not saying what he paid for 51 percent of ACE, but said it was part cash and part DEAG shares.

He seems determined to build a live contemporary music touring division to rival CTS Eventim’s Medusa Group, adding the Frankfurt-based Klein to a team that already has Carlos Fleischmann, Johannes Wessels and Klaus Boenisch.

Wessels already has a strong working relationship with AEG’s Rob Hallett, who quit Mean Fiddler to head up AEG’s European touring business. He was appointed Senior VP International in March 2005.

Trying to match Medusa Group in the festival market would be a momentous battle, as Marek Lieberberg and Folkert Koopmans already control a very large majority of the country’s most-established two- and three-day outdoor gatherings.

It wasn’t possible to contact Klein at press time.

– John Gammon