Concert promoter Live Nation (NYSE: LYV) usually sells things to private equity. Last September, for example, its sports management unit sold three divisions to Blue Equity. Just a few months earlier, it sold a package of properties — including Cirque du Soleil’s Delirium — to Clarity Partners’ live entertainment platform BASE Entertainment.
But Live Nation now seems done giving, and wants to do some taking. Specifically, it wants to pilfer Madonna from Warner Music (NYSE: WMG), which still lists Bain Capital, Thomas H. Lee Partners and Providence Equity Partners among its largest shareholders.
The Material Girl reportedly is set to sign a 10-year, $120 million deal with Live Nation — which would include three studio albums, concert tours, merchandising and chachka licensing. Warner stock is actually up a bit on the news, as shareholders are perhaps relieved that the label isn’t committing itself to 10 years with a dance-pop artist who is fast approaching the half-century mark.
Still, today’s increase hasn’t managed to push Warner past $12 per share — which is less than half of what EMI was offering last year to buy the company outright. True blue…