As world-renowned band U2 awaits release of a new studio album in 2009, details are arising about the band’s deal with Live Nation, which was signed in March. As part of their 12-year deal with the tour and concert promoter, the rockers will receive an estimated $19 million in company shares.
The company registered the 1.56 million shares in a late-week regulatory filing with the Securities Exchange Commission, according to the Los Angeles Times. In return, the members of U2 have handed over merchandising, branding and worldwide touring to Live Nation, but will retain their recording deal with Universal Music.
“We’ve been dating for over 20 years now, it’s about time we tied the knot,” U2 frontman Bono said in March a statement announcing the deal, which includes handling of the band’s Web site. “With regards to U2.com, we feel we’ve got a great Web site, but we want to make it a lot better. We want a closer, more direct relationship between the band and its audience and Live Nation has pledged to help us with that.”
In the past year, Live Nation has signed four other major recording artists to similarly comprehensive deals. Columbian singer Shakira and rock band Nickelback inked 360-degree deals, which include the publishing and recording rights that U2 retained, though neither artist received stock options as part of their deals.
However, when rap mogul Jay Z signed a 10-year, 360-degree deal worth about $150 million with the company, he received about 750,000 stock shares and an option to purchase 500,000 more. Likewise, Madonna banked an estimated 1.17 million shares in the company in return for her 10-year, $120 million deal with Live Nation.