Nearly six years after Gamerco was first rumoured to be an acquisition target for what was then SFX Entertainment, the country’s top promoter has finally joined the U.S.-based live music giant.
"We’re very pleased to do the deal," Gamerco group chief Gay Mercader told Pollstar following the announcement that his Barcelona-based company, Pino Sagliocco’s Troubleshooters and Robert Grima’s Iguapop will all be joining what is now Live Nation.
"In the end, it was the only thing that made sense," Mercader explained. "I have so many friends in the company including Thomas Johansson [EMA Telstar], Leon Ramakers [Mojo Concerts] and Barry Dickins [ITB] and now I shall be working more closely with them."
He was reticent to say why the two sides have finally reached an agreement, although admits there’s been "various conversations down the years." It seems Live Nation chief Michael Rapino had a big influence on his decision.
"SFX became Clear Channel, Clear Channel became Live Nation and I wasn’t exactly sure where the company was heading," Mercader said. "Finally, it seems it has a clear, precise vision and that’s all down to Michael Rapino.
"A company like this needs to be run by someone who knows what he wants and I think Michael Rapino knows exactly what he wants. I wouldn’t have felt so good about the deal if the company was being headed by some Wall Street guy."
The purchase of Gamerco and a major share in Paris-based Jackie Lombard Productions are Live Nation’s first major European mainland acquisitions since Rapino negotiated for Hungary’s Multimedia, the Czech Republic’s Interkoncerts and Poland’s Odyssey to join the fold in 2004.
In the U.K., Live Nation teamed with Irish promoter Denis Desmond’s Gaiety Investments to buy Mean Fiddler Music Group in 2005.