Industry News

Live Nation tipped to merge with SiriusXM

SiriusXM, the internet radio giant, has denied it is to merge with Live Nation, which is set to release its Q2 earnings later today.

Earlier this week an investment note from BTIG Research analyst Brandon Ross again predicted a merger between Live Nation, the owner of Ticketmaster, and SiriusXM, which are both partially owned by Liberty Media.

After initially tipping a deal last year, Ross this time said it was “inevitable”. He alleged Liberty president and CEO Greg Maffei has “long desired to combine Sirius and Live Nation into a single music distribution company and has encouraged a marriage of his two music industry interests in the past.”

However, SiriusXM chief executive Jim Meyer told investors: “I don’t have any comment on Live Nation. I don’t even know where that speculation is coming from. It’s not coming from SiriusXM.”

Liberty Media owns around 69 per cent of SiriusXM and around a third of Live Nation.

In Q2, SiriusXM saw quarterly earnings rise 45 per cent to $292m, in part thanks to one-time gains from its Pandora investment and tax savings.

Ross added: “We and a growing group of investors have come to believe a nearer-term combination of SiriusXM and Live Nation is inevitable.

“A Sirius acquisition of Live Nation could help solve Liberty’s problems by helping to (at least optically) protect SiriusXM’s terminal value, giving that company a better use of capital, and at the same time improving some of the forces that have led to a senseless tracking stock discount (currently sitting at 25%).”

Live Nation will release its Q2 earnings after market hours today.