Pieroni Puts Live In Live Nation

Live Nation has furthered its European expansion by purchasing all or part of Andrea Pieroni’s Florence-based Live In Italy, one of the country’s foremost promoters of rock and metal music.

At press time it wasn’t possible to get comment from Live Nation international chief exec Alan Ridgeway or Pieroni. Live Nation’s London office has confirmed the deal was done three weeks ago. A statement is expected at the end of the month.

Pieroni’s rock promotions include Gods Of Metal, an annual heavy rock fest that he’s staged in Milan or Bologna since 1997. He also appears to be a leading candidate to produce the country’s first Sonisphere Festival in 2011.

Live Nation has had a presence in Italy since its forerunner Clear Channel Entertainment (CCE) bought Roberto de Luca’s Milano Concerti and Maurizio Salvadori’s Trident Agency in 2001.

A little over two years later it consolidated its position with the acquisition of Ferdinando Salzano’s Milan-based Friends & Partners. He’d previously been Salvadori’s partner and co-head of Trident for 10 years, but they’d gone their separate ways in the summer of 2001 – a few months before LN bought Trident.

There were soon rumours that all wasn’t well among the CCE hierarchy in Italy, which has now become Live Nation Italia. They gained substance when Salvadori quit at the end of 2004.

He brushed aside the talk of a rift between De Luca and himself, and explained that his contract had run its course and he preferred to spend more time on his management acts, which included Eros Ramazotti, Jovanotti, Max Pezzali, Mango, and Planet Funk.

The terms of his contract were believed to include a clause that said his top management acts including Ramazotti and Jovanotti would still be promoted by CCE for the next couple of years.

It appeared that current Live Nation chief Michael Rapino had cut the deal with Salzano in anticipation of Salvadori’s departure. It meant Live Nation still retained a major share of the domestic market, which amounts to about 70 percent of the total market.

It’s not known if Pieroni will continue to operate his business on a stand-alone basis from Florence or shift to LN’s Milan-based headquarters.