TH Lee Could Back Deal For Live Nation

Live Nation Entertainment is in talks with its largest shareholder Liberty Media on taking the concert promoter and ticketing company private, sister news service Reuters reported, citing the New York Post. Buyout firm Thomas H. Lee Partners could provide funding for the deal, the paper added, citing sources familiar with the matter.

Live Nation executive chairman Irving Azoff and media mogul John Malone of Liberty Media are in early stages of discussions and one of the options under consideration is a go private transaction, the paper said. Live Nation and Liberty media did not immediately respond to requests seeking comment.

Live Nation, whose sales were hit during the economic downturn as many fans could not afford ticket prices of concerts, saw a rise in both concerts and ticketing revenue in its latest first-quarter results. The company has a market value of about $1.87 billion, according to Thomson Reuters data.

(Renju Jose is a Bangalore-based correspondent for Reuters news service.)