Liberty Looks To Increase Its Live Nation/Ticketmaster Ownership
January 27, 2010 at 4:37 AM (PT)
LIBERTY MEDIA has offered to buy up to 34.5 million shares in the newly merged LIVE NATION ENTERTAINMENT at a 14% premium, reports REUTERS, writing "LIBERTY already owns a 14.6% stake in LIVE NATION, which completed an $870-million acquisition of TICKETMASTER ENTERTAINMENT on MONDAY (NET NEWS 1/25). The news caused a 13% rise in LIVE NATION stock.
"There were a lot TICKETMASTER shareholders that didn't like the deal because of the LIVE NATION business model so this tender offer will likely be fully subscribed," DAVID JOYCE, an analyst at MILLER TABAK told REUTERS. "LIBERTY MEDIA wants to try to have significant stakes in businesses that have good free cash flow characteristics and to look less like a mutual fund."
LIBERTY bought a 40% stake in SIRIUS XM RADIO last year after (NET NEWS 3/6/2009) it rescued the company from bankruptcy through a loan.
Live Nation Responds
LIVE NATION issued a statement this morning about the LIBERTY announcement, saying "LIVE NATION's Board of Directors intends to evaluate LIBERTY MEDIA's proposed offer in consultation with its financial and legal advisors, and the Board will advise LIVE NATION's stockholders of its position regarding the offer, as well as its reasons for that position, after the proposed offer has been commenced. In the interim, LIVE NATION requests that its stockholders defer taking action with respect to LIBERTY MEDIA's proposed offer until they have been advised of LIVE NATION's position with respect to the offer."