Live Nation Acquires Remaining Equity Stake in Front Line
Live Nation acquired the equity interests in Front Line formerly held by Irving Azoff and Madison Square Garden. The cash portion of the transaction totaled $56.5m and was funded with cash on hand. The remaining $59.7m was paid using newly-issued shares of Live Nation common stock.
As a result of the transaction, Live Nation will consolidate the entity for US federal income tax purposes. Of the total shares issued, Mr Azoff received 1.8 million shares of common stock and Madison Square Garden received 3.9 million shares of common stock.
Additionally, the company revealed a number of changes to its board of directors. Irving Azoff has been appointed chairman of the board, replacing John Malone who stepped down from the board. In addition, Greg Maffei, CEO of Liberty Media Corporation, has joined the board and has been named chairman of the company's newly-formed executive committee.
Separately, the company also revealed that it has entered into an agreement with Liberty, whereby Liberty has acquired 1.8 million shares of Live Nation common stock for $18.8m in cash.
Liberty also agreed to purchase an additional 5.5 million shares of common stock for consideration of $57.7m in cash, subject to receipt of approval of Live Nation's stockholders, which approval will be sought at the company's 2011 annual meeting of stockholders, and other customary closing conditions.
Michael Rapino, president and CEO of Live Nation, said: â€œBy acquiring full ownership of Front Line, we expect to benefit from substantial savings related to cash taxes, the elimination of the dividend and operating synergies resulting in an increase in our free cash flow in excess of $20m annually.â€
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