Liberty eyes Live Nation

Malone makes offer for big chunk of ticket company shares

Upping its investment in a newly minted entertainment giant, Liberty Media has made an offer to purchase up to 34.5 million shares of stock in Live Nation at a premium price.

Move signals another possible shift in Liberty’s investment strategy. The company has been eying a refinancing or sale of its Starz Media production/distribution unit, and the principals of its Overture Films division are mulling a possible buyout (Daily Variety, Jan. 25).

On Monday, the Justice Dept. signaled approval, with conditions, of concert promotion giant Live Nation’s merger with ticketing and artist management titan Ticketmaster (Daily Variety, Jan. 26).

Both companies’ stock prices rose dramatically on Monday and continued to climb in early Tuesday trading.

Colorado-based Liberty is offering $12 per share for its Live Nation stake, a 14.2% premium on the Jan. 25 closing price of $10.51.

Liberty holds a stockholder agreement with Live Nation permitting the company to acquire up to 35% of Live Nation’s outstanding shares. If the offer is completed, it would own approximately 34.9% of Live Nation’s common stock.

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