LN And Big Concerts Have Quiet Chat

The ruckus over the Celine Dion and Josh Groban South African tours looks to have diverted media attention from the fact that the country’s biggest concert promoter is poised to join the world’s biggest live entertainment company.

Discussions between Big Concerts chief Attie van Wyk and Live Nation head of international Alan Ridgeway, which started just before the ILMC weekend, are close to completion and an announcement is expected within days, according to sources familiar with the subject.

There’s no word on how much Live Nation would be paying for Big Concerts but it’s likely it will acquire the whole company for a lump sum plus unspecified staged payments.

The negotiations between LN and Big Concerts haven’t attracted any national press attention other than saying the latter is the most likely promoter for any rescheduled Groban dates.

Van Wyk founded the Cape Town-based company 19 years ago. It’s now the country’s major live music promoter with a client list that includes Alicia Keys, R.E.M., Roger Waters, Jamiroquai, Bryan Adams, Simply Red, Counting Crows, Il Divo, Elton John, The Offspring, Mark Knopfler and Cliff Richard.

Ridgeway wasn’t available for comment at press time. Van Wyk was also unreachable, having flown to Johannesburg for the opening of a 12-week run of "Saturday Night Fever," a show that he’s co-produced.