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Live Nation shareholder says private ownership would make sense

By | Published on Friday 8 July 2011

Live Nation

Following reports in the New York Post last month that Live Nation chief Irving Azoff was talking to one of the firm’s biggest shareholders, John Malone, about taking the company into private ownership, said shareholder has said he thinks such a move would be a sensible one, though raising the cash to make it happen might be difficult.

Since the mega-merger of Live Nation with the Ticketmaster businesses, the live music firm has been under increased scrutiny in both political and City circles, with some on Wall Street critical of how management there reacted to last year’s slump in the US live sector.

Word has it Azoff would like the opportunity to iron out issues stemming from the merger, and respond to challenges in the live market, away from constant analysis, comment and criticism from City types, and Malone says that makes sense.

Reuters quotes the media mogul and influential Live Nation shareholder as saying: “There are arguments that it would be better as a private company. It would probably be nice for that company to be private for a period of time to settle down and consolidate operations”.

However, he reportedly conceded that raising the money to take Live Nation into private hands would be a challenge. Asked about how feasible Azoff’s proposal was, he added: “Whether that’s feasible is a function of how the large shareholders and management feel about it, and the financing of a deal”.