Live Nation Entertainment is the world’s largest live entertainment company. From managing concert tours to operating major venues and festivals, Live Nation has become a powerhouse in the industry. But who actually owns this massive company?
A History of Mergers and Acquisitions
Live Nation was formed in 2005 after a merger between Clear Channel Communications and Spin Magazine. Over the next few years, Live Nation continued to grow through major acquisitions. This included acquiring Ticketmaster in 2010 to become Live Nation Entertainment.
Majority Ownership by Liberty Media
Today, the majority shareholder of Live Nation is Liberty Media Corporation with a 33% stake in the company. Liberty Media began heavily investing in Live Nation in 2013. By 2017, regulatory approvals were given for Liberty to acquire over 30 million shares to hold its current controlling interest.
Other Major Shareholders
While Liberty Media retains the highest ownership percentage, Live Nation also has other major shareholders. The Vanguard Group holds the second-highest stake with around 15 million shares or 7% ownership. Meanwhile, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board owns a total stake of about 6%, largely through shares purchased in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Founder Robert Sillerman No Longer Involved
Although no person holds majority ownership in Live Nation today, the company was founded by Robert F.X. Sillerman. Sillerman helped launch the company in 2005 following the merger of his business SFX Entertainment with Clear Channel Communications. However, Sillerman stepped down from the board of directors in 2010 and no longer has any role or ownership.
Company Operations and Executives
The current President and CEO of Live Nation Entertainment is Michael Rapino, who oversees company operations. Along with support from an executive team, Rapino leads a business that now sells over 500 million tickets per year across 40 different countries. Revenues topped $10 billion in 2019 before the impacts of the pandemic.
While Live Nation Entertainment has grown into a live event empire through major mergers and acquisitions, no single individual owns a controlling share today. Instead, the majority stake belongs to Liberty Media Corporation at 33% ownership. But public shareholders and major investment groups also retain significant portions, helping fuel Live Nation’s continued expansion as demand returns for live concerts and entertainment.