The New York Post is reporting today (6/18) that, amid a slowdown in the concert business, AEG Live is talking to major music companies about taking a minority stake in the business. The Los Angeles-based company, the second-largest live entertainment company in the world, is a unit of AEG, an owner of sports teams and concert and sport venues. Sources report that the company has been talking to Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment and Warner Music.
The talks could result in either a sale to one of the major music companies or a consortium of bidders, one executive said. The discussions are said to have been going on with Universal for more than a year, but have recently broadened to include other labels.
While no one is clear on the reason for the sale, some suggest it could be driven by the desire to raise capital while the business is still robust. Others suggest a deal with the music companies could shore up AEG Live’s competitive position with Live Nation, which recently gained federal approval for its merger with Ticketmaster. AEG Live was behind the comeback tour by the late Michael Jackson and is behind tours by Lady Gaga, The Black Eyed Peas and others.
“There are a variety of substantial organizations that have contacted us over the years and recently about investment opportunities in AEG Live,” a spokesman said. “While we happen to have all of our funding in place, we continue to speak to many to determine if they would bring proper assets to the table to warrant consideration. We’re having the best run that we’ve ever had and the future is incredibly bright but you always look for ways to strengthen the organization.”
A spokesman for Universal Music denied that the company was in discussions with AEG, while execs at Sony and Warner had no comment.
Live Nation’s stock price has fallen from a high of $16.70 on April 26 to $10.79 on June 7. Live Nation, which also includes artists management firm, Frontline, recovered from some of its recent losses, closing at $12.20 yesterday.
Read the entire New York Post article here.