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UPDATE: Ticketmaster, Live Nation Announce $2.5 Billion Merger Into Live Nation Entertainment

imageThere were reports that the two ticket vendors had merger plans, but now it’s official: Ticketmaster and Live Nation (NYSE: LYV) have announced the deal. It’s a tax-free, all stock merger with a combined value of approximately $2.5 billion, and the new entity will be called Live Nation Entertainment. The deal is subject to the usual legal issues, including regulatory review, and there’s sure to be some pressure against it from the music industry and others who see this consolidation as a threat. Release.

Management: A lot of ego to fit into one space … Barry Diller, chairman of Ticketmaster Entertainment, will be chairman of the board with Michael Rapino, now CEO of Live Nation, as CEO and president, and Irving Azoff, now CEO of Ticketmaster, as executive chairman and CEO of Front Line.

The name change: Dropping the Ticketmaster brand in favor of Live Nation could be the first step toward distancing the new company from the negative press surrounding the long-standing ticketing giant. A WSJ source said management wants to diminish the impression that the “company is out to gouge” consumers — as concert-goers have long complained about the service fees Ticketmaster tacks on to ticket prices.

Rory adds: Not a lot of groundbreaking information from the Live Nation/Ticketmaster call on the deal. But Barry Diller (chairman of the new entity), Michael Rapino (CEO) and Irving Azoff (executive chairman) did offer some additional detail on the transaction.

More after the jump

— Deal should close in the second half of 2009, pending Department of Justice approval.

— The new entity is projecting at least $40 million in cost savings in the first year following the close of the deal.

— Combined company will generate $6 billion in revenue.

Rapino, Diller and Azoff also talked (sort of) about how the deal would benefit consumers. They said that technology investments would allow for paperless ticketing and afford fans

5 Responses to “UPDATE: Ticketmaster, Live Nation Announce $2.5 Billion Merger Into Live Nation Entertainment”

  1. The DOJ should nip this in the bud. Why would the FCC waste so much time slowing down the Sirius/XM merger when this is the real deal. Ironically, this is Clear Channel's 'Live Nation' brand. Clear Channel was trying to block Sirius/XM along with the NAB. Now Clear Channel has such a stained rep, they have rebranded as 'Live Nation'. Ticketmaster has already swallowed up small Internet ticket companies that gave a good value (1 to 2 dollar ticket fees). Ticketmaster always overcharged for ticket fees and they now have the legal scalping site to suck more money off the music fans. I don't go to any more concerts as they are a total ripoff. Higher prices, especially in this economy will spell doom for stockholders of Clear Channel/LiveNation.

  2. The Kings of Authorized Scalping … consumers can't buy tickets to the most desirable shows now because LN always "sells out," except you seem to be able to still buy tickets to those sold out shows from LN at 10 times the price on their website … DOJ should inisist they cannot have ticket after-market sales for their own shows.

  3. "Rapino also said that the combined company would be able to increase attendance at live events, but outside of additional marketing muscle, it’s unclear how fans would suddenly start buying more tickets just because the two companies are now one. And Rapino didn’t elaborate." And does the immediate future with the economy in terrible repair and unemployment rising sound like a good forecast for concertgoing ventures?