LN Completes Nordic Hub

Live Nation has acquired a majority stake in Estonia’s Baltic Development Group, which will now be known as Live Nation Baltics. The news, expected for several months, gives LN an office in Tallinn that serves the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania and formally completes LN’s Nordic hub.

It could be a coincidence but, for the BDG acquisition, Live Nation chief Michael Rapino may have used some of the money that had been set aside to potentially pay off CTS Eventim.

On June 12 the International Court of Arbitration ruled Live Nation validly terminated its ticketing software license agreement with Eventim, saving the U.S.-based promoter a big bundle of money.

“With this acquisition we now have operations in 43 countries,” Rapino said in a statement announcing the BDG deal. “This further demonstrates our ongoing commitment to expanding our global footprint, which enables us to bring live entertainment to even more fans around the world.”

In the last year LN and BDG have worked together on more than 50 shows in the Baltics and sold more than 200,000 tickets. BDG has effectively been LN’s Baltic office.

It has offices in Oslo and Moscow and every capital city in between, taking in Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, the Baltics, and Russia. It also has a Polish company to the south.

“We have been partners in the Baltics with Thomas [Johannson], Tor [Nielsen] and Risto for 11 years already, yielding a close and very positive cooperation,” BDG chief Peeter Rebane told Pollstar in January 2011.

“Live Nation has played the most important role in developing the Baltic market, so it would be natural for us to take the next step one day,” he said.

LN chairman of international music Thomas Johansson said BDG’s extensive network in Estonia and Lithuania will “strengthen our position in Eastern and Central Europe and will offer our artists a full run around the Baltic Sea.”

Rebane says BDG has more than 18 years’ experience in the business of creating unique shows and events for the public and providing superior entertainment-related services.

“Being part of the world’s leading entertainment company will create even better opportunities for local music fans to see world class concerts in future,” he said of officially becoming part of LN.

Details of the deal haven’t been disclosed but BDG’s current management team will remain in place.

Live Nation Baltics has upcoming shows with Robbie Williams and Depeche Mode, among others.