12.18.2008

Madonna to follow u2 footsteps?

U2 is now offloading a massive amount of depressed Live Nation (LYV)
shares, a move that will cost the concert giant approximately $19
million.  According to SEC filings issued this morning, the total
amount of shares in question is 1.56 million, carrying a Wednesday
value of $3.91.  

The Wall Street Journal traced the dump-off
back to U2, a group promised a valuation of $25 million on the shares
as part of a broader, 12-year deal.  But those promises were made
before markets nosedived, and at current valuations, the shares are
worth just $6.09 million. 

The disparity comes at an
unfortunate time for Live Nation, a company struggling against sinking
share valuations and potentially weaker concert attendance ahead. 
Elsewhere, Madonna is also rumored to be considering a similar move,
though Live Nation chief executive Michael Rapino downplayed the
matter.  "Madonna and U2 are the only two deals that did contain this
provision," Rapino said. "The Madonna business is great, and we look
forward to monetizing our investment in U2 next year."

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