U2 gets Live Nation stock payday

Tue Oct 21, 2008 8:13am EDT
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By Mitchell Peters

LOS ANGELES (Billboard) - U2 will receive an estimated $19 million worth of Live Nation shares as part of a 12-year deal the rock band signed with the concert promotion company earlier this year.

Los Angeles-based Live Nation last Thursday registered 1.56 million shares to U2 in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The agreement between U2 and Live Nation, announced in March, includes worldwide touring, merchandising, and the band's U2.com Web site. The deal, however, is not a true "360-degree pact" of the sort signed by Madonna, Jay-Z and Shakira,, as there is no publishing component and the band retains its relationship with Universal Music to release music.

U2 is in an elite class for touring, with its 2005-2007 Vertigo tour taking in close to $400 million, the second highest ever. So touring alone should generate more than a billion dollars in grosses over the course of the contract.

U2's first studio album since 2004's album of the year Grammy winner "How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb" is due early next year. Singer Bono and guitarist the Edge reportedly played a couple of new songs at a part last Thursday in Half Moon Bay, Calif., for the staff of Elevation Partners, an investment firm of which Bono is a founding partner.

Live Nation stock fell 39 cents to $11.54 on the New York Stock Exchange Monday, at the lower end of its 52-week range between $20.74 and $9.26.


<p>Irish band U2's singer Bono gives out an award at MTV Video Music Awards Japan 2008 in Saitama, north of Tokyo, May 31, 2008. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon</p>