The latest problem to plague a Live Nation/Ticketmaster tie-up: Live Nation’s largest shareholder wants nothing to do with a Barry Diller-led company.
“I’m very much against going into business with Mr. Diller” because of poor returns from companies he leads, Sam Shapiro, chairman of Shapiro Capital Management, told Bloomberg.
His Beverly Hills-based firm owns a 15 per cent stake in Live Nation or 11.9 million shares.
Shapiro’s concerns prompted Live Nation to hold, yet another, conference call defending the deal. (Really, guys, wouldn’t this time be better spent preparing to refute charges that your merger with Ticketmaster would create a monopoly?)
During the call, Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino, who’s set to helm the conglomerate, downplayed Shapiro’s concerns, while Shapiro’s son Louis, said his dad would support the deal as long as it was clear it would create value for shareholders, which he doesn’t believe Diller has done in the past.
According to Bloomberg, Louis said, “We’re for the deal…[The firm] will absolutely vote with Michael Rapino…as long as they believe it will create value for shareholders.”
Perhaps Barry Diller should take Sam and Louis out for a bike ride to allay their concerns.