Just the ticket
The ticketing giant has announced a complex deal to acquire top artist-management agency Front Line, home to artists including Christina Aguilera, the Eagles and Neil Diamond. Front Line honcho Irving Azoff will run the combined company — raising questions about how Ms. Aguilera’s manager will negotiate her ticketing fees with himself.
Ticketmaster already owns a minority stake in Front Line, and will pay $123 million to Warner Music Group for an additional 30 percent stake, as the Wall Street Journal was the first to report.
As the music industry has crumbled, the concert business has been one of the sole bright spots in recent years. But with a global recession getting top billing and upstart rival Live Nation scooping up exclusive deals with artists like Madonna, it could be a tough act for Ticketmaster to follow.
Are you less likely to go to concerts now that the economy is looking grim? Leave you answer in the comments section.
DEALS OF THE DAY
** New Zealand’s Port of Tauranga is expecting rival Ports of Auckland to bid for its container business, it said, as a declining shipping business has port operators looking at consolidation.
** The Australian government has approved a takeover of St George Bank , the country’s fifth-biggest lender, by larger rival Westpac Banking Corp , Treasurer Wayne Swan said.
** Norway’s oil group Det norske oljeselskap ASA said it was selling its 10 percent stake in Yme field licences to Polish peer Lotos .
** Volkswagen Chairman Ferdinand Piech expects the takeover by Porsche to move ahead smoothly and played down in a newspaper interview any differences in his extended family that owns Porsche.
** The European Commission will approve an Italian investor group’s takeover plan for struggling airline Alitalia but not a 300 million euro ($386 million) state loan, la Repubblica newspaper said.
** Russia’s flag carrier Aeroflot has asked the transport ministry to support its takeover of airline S7, which may bid for Austrian Airlines , Interfax reported, citing Aeroflot.
** Interactive entertainment company Bright Things Plc said it signed a relationship agreement for its social network site SocialGo with widget maker WidgetLaboratory LLC, sending shares up nearly 67 percent.
** Greek lenders Piraeus Bank and Proton Bank said their boards had agreed to cancel a share swap agreement, after Proton said it would seek to take part in a government bank rescue plan.
** U.S.-Swedish bourse operator Nasdaq OMX has won final approval to buy Nordic power exchange Nord Pool’s international business, Nord Pool said.