CMU Digest

CMU Digest 01.06.30: Warner Music, StubHub, Bauer Media, Ultra Music Festival, Maverick

By | Published on Monday 1 June 2020

Warner Music

The key stories from the last week in the music business…

The Warner Music Group formally launched its Initial Public Offering on the Nasdaq stock exchange. Current owners Access Industries will put 14% of the company’s stock up for sale via the IPO with a target price of $23 to $26 per share. That would value the music company that Access paid $3.3 billion to acquire back in 2011 at a neat $11.7 billion. Access – like Universal Music owner Vivendi – is cashing in on renewed interested in music rights among the investment community. [READ MORE]

The President of StubHub resigned. Sukhinder Singh Cassidy said that the secondary ticketing firm was now in a position to weather the COVID-19 storm and that she had always intended to depart after rival Viagogo acquired the company. Though the two businesses are yet to properly merge because that deal is still subject to regulator approval in the UK. There has also been plenty of speculation that the financial pressures caused by the COVID-19 shutdown could push StubHub into bankruptcy, but – while discussing her departure – Cassidy denied that was the case. [READ MORE]

Bauer Media UK announced plans to merge most of the local radio stations it acquired last year into its existing Greatest Hits Radio network. It will result in a load of local radio brands and locally-made radio programmes disappearing from the airwaves. However, three of the acquired stations will be unaffected: Lincs FM in Lincolnshire, Pirate FM in Cornwall and Sam FM in Bristol. Meanwhile Pulse in Bradford and Huddersfield, Signal in Stoke-On-Trent, The Wave in Swansea and Fire Radio in Bournemouth will retain their brands, but will start to take most of their programmes from another Bauer network, that being the Hits Radio Network. [READ MORE]

Organisers of the Ultra Music Festival in Miami were sued over their no refunds policy. The Miami edition of Ultra was one of the first major US music events to be called off as a result of COVID-19. Promoters have told ticket-holders that they can transfer their tickets to the 2021 or 2022 edition of the festival, but cash refunds are not available. The event’s terms and conditions allow for that policy, but a new class action lawsuit argues that those terms of “unenforceable”. [READ MORE]

Live Nation announced that Guy Oseary is standing down from his day-to-day role running its flagship artist management business Maverick. He will continue to manage Madonna and U2 via the Live Nation company though, as well as consulting for the CEO of the live music giant, Michael Rapino. Live Nation first allied with Oseary’s Maverick management outfit in 2013, before positioning a number of other management agencies it owned under the Maverick banner the following year. [READ MORE]

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