Los Angeles – Live Nation Entertainment (NYSE: LYV) announced on Monday
that it will acquire the remaining stake in artist management firm Front Line
Management it did not already own, from founder Irving Azoff and Madison Square
Garden, in a deal valued at $116.2 million.
“Through this transaction we
will further simplify and consolidate our operating structure,” said Live
Nation president and CEO Michael Rapino.
“By 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 $20 million annually.”
The company also named Azoff — who will receive 1.8 million
Live Nation shares in the transaction — as chairman of the board, replacing
outgoing chairman and Liberty Media (NASD: LINTA) head John Malone.
Liberty Media CEO Gref
Maffei was named chairman of Live Nation’s newly-formed executive committee.
a separate deal, Live Nation said it sold 1.8 million shares of its common
stock to Liberty Media for $18.8 million in cash. Liberty also agreed to
purchase an additional 5.5 million Live Nation shares for $57.7 million,
subject to shareholder approval.
“Liberty’s investment in Live Nation will
enable us to further strengthen our balance sheet and provide us with
additional financial flexibility as we execute our growth strategy,” Live
Nation’s Rapino added.