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Live Nation-Ticketmaster Deal: Many Losers, One Winner


One CEO now has greater incentive to get the controversial merger done.

Editor's note: This article was written by Michelle Leder, who combs through SEC filings for nuggets of interesting details for her blog,

There have been lots of stories lately about some of the questions being raised over the merger between Live Nation (LYV) and Ticketmaster (TKTM) both here and across the pond in the UK (see here and here for example). It's still unclear how that will resolve. But late Thursday, Live Nation filed several different forms with the SEC -- an 8K, a 425, and an amended S-4 -- that had a new disclosure about a hefty payday for Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino.

Under Rapino's new employment contract, which became effective October 21, he'll be entitled to a $3 million signing bonus -- assuming the deal closes, of course. Here's how it's described in the contract:

(b) Signing Bonus. In addition to Base Salary, provided that the Executive remains employed by the Company until the Effective Date, the Executive shall be paid a one-time signing bonus in the amount of $3,000,000, less appropriate payroll deductions and all required withholdings, which shall be payable within 10 days after the Effective Date.

There's also an annual salary of $2 million and some other goodies like an "exception performance bonus", which is in addition to the plain-vanilla performance bonus.

As has been footnoted before, I'm not a big fan of Live Nation. But this agreement seems like yet another indication that this deal with Ticketmaster seems to do a lot for a few top executives and not so much for practically everyone else.
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