Michael Cohl, the ousted Chairman of Live Nation, has reportedly sold about 40 percent of his shares in the company this week, generating an estimated $1.73 million.
The move follows a $19 million loss Live Nation endured in December when U2 exercised its right to have the company buy back shares it paid the band, dealing a new blow to investor confidence in the entertainment and ticketing company.
Live Nation’s stock, which trades under the symbol “LYV,” has languished in the single digits for months, as cautious investors question the strength of entertainment companies in the current recession. Live Nation recently launched its ticket operation, a bright spot that could become a popular destination for fans looking for tickets at the primary level. Live Nation’s stock closed at $5.51 today, January 23, up from the $4.85 it closed at earlier in the week when Cohl sold the stock. The stock’s 52-week high was $18.75.
According to Live Nation officials, Cohl was required to report the sale with the Securities and Exchange Commission because he and his partner owned more than 5 percent of Live Nation. The sale brought the total they own to less than 5 percent, which triggered the filing. The sale was first reported by Pollstar.
Live Nation spokesperson John Vlautin told TicketNews that the company had no comment on the matter.
Cohl was ousted from Live Nation last summer following disagreements with CEO and President Michael Rapino in part over the money Cohl was seeking to spend on all-encompassing deals with major recording artists.