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Live Nation to Raise Stake in Musictoday

August 01, 2006|From Bloomberg News

Live Nation Inc., the concert promoter spun off by Clear Channel Communications Inc., agreed to buy a majority stake in Musictoday, an operator of fan sites and online stores for artists such as Christina Aguilera.

Musictoday, based in Charlottesville, Va., had sales of more than $100 million last year, Live Nation said Monday. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

The purchase extends Live Nation's expansion into retail sales, adding to its concert promotion and venue management. This month Live Nation acquired a majority stake in Trunk Ltd., which sells T-shirts and other apparel to music fans.

"It's not so much an infusion of capital as it is access to resources," Nathan Hubbard, Musictoday's chief of staff, said in an interview. "They have tremendous data on fans that we'll be able to leverage. And they're spending $100 million on marketing and advertising this year, so we'll be able to generate more marketing reach."

Coran Capshaw, founder and chief executive of Musictoday, will remain with the company.

Live Nation had held a minority stake in the company, Hubbard said.

Shares of Beverly Hills-based Live Nation fell 52 cents, or 2.4%, to $20.96. They have risen 60% this year.

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