Live Nation Acquires Controlling Stake in C3 Presents
October rumor becomes December reality
By Chase Hoffberger,
5:05PM, Fri. Dec. 19, 2014
Austin’s biggest rumor is now the music industry’s breaking news. Word broke this afternoon that C3 Presents, the local concert promotions giant responsible for the Austin City Limits Music Festival, Lollapalooza, and other festivals – as well as a swath of local shows – has sold its majority share to concert monolith Live Nation Entertainment.
Live Nation president and CEO Michael Rapino posted word of the purchase at 2:33pm. Terms weren’t disclosed:
“The Charlies [C3 partners Charles Attal, Charlie Jones, and Charlie Walker] have proven they are amongst the most successful entrepreneurs in the concert industry. I have long admired what they built and now I look forward to working alongside them as they continue to build a world class festival company.”
Live Nation is no stranger to this city. The company’s entrenched itself within the market via Circuit of the Americas, ACL Live at the Moody Theater, and the Frank Erwin Center over the last half decade. The two parties have marketed shows together during that time.
Rumors that C3 was up for acquisition began to pick up steam as early as April of this year. At the time, Attal told the Chronicle that offers like these are continuously on the table.
A deal between the two parties seemingly solidified in early October during the first weekend of ACL Fest, when The New York Times ran a story detailing Live Nation’s “advanced talks to buy a majority stake in” in the Charlies’ company. Times reporter Ben Sisario wrote then that the deal would give Live Nation a stake of 51% in C3 and value C3 at around $250 million. Attal refuted parts of the report to the Chronicle at the time, while reiterating that the offer wasn’t new.
A call to Attal Friday afternoon wasn’t returned.