Ticketmaster Buys Front Line, Azoff Named CEO
October 23, 2008 at 7:37 AM (PT)
TICKETMASTER has announced an agreement to acquire a controlling equity interest in FRONT LINE MANAGEMENT GROUP INC. TICKETMASTER also announced that IRVING AZOFF, Founder/CEO of FRONT LINE, will become CEO of TICKETMASTER, reports MARKETWATCH.COM. Upon completion of the transaction, TICKETMASTER will change its name to TICKETMASTER ENTERTAINMENT, INC., to reflect its continued emergence as a diversified live entertainment and marketing company.
TICKETMASTER Chairman BARRY DILLER said, "While the TICKETMASTER name has been synonymous with live entertainment for some time, TODAY we took a significant step in solidifying our position in the music business. We will greatly benefit in having IRVING AZOFF lead TICKETMASTER. In joining with the excellent TICKETMASTER management of SEAN MORIARTY, TERRY BARNES and ERIC KORMAN, we'll have a superb group of executives capable of growing the Company every which way."
Terms of the deal call for TICKETMASTER to pay $123 million to WARNER MUSIC GROUP for its minority stake in FRONT LINE. In addition, TICKETMASTER will issue restricted stock awards to AZOFF representing about 4.5% of its stock. AZOFF's equity stake in FRONT LINE will then be canceled.
Since being founded by IRVING AZOFF and HOWARD KAUFMAN in 2004, FRONT LINE has developed into an extraordinarily influential music management group, with nearly 200 clients and more than 80 executive managers. FRONT LINE represents a wide range of major artists, including THE EAGLES, JIMMY BUFFETT, NEIL DIAMOND, VAN HALEN, FLEETWOOD MAC, CHRISTINA AGUILERA, STEVIE NICKS, AEROSMITH, STEELY DAN, CHICAGO, JOURNEY and GUNS N' ROSES.