With the Department of Justice (DOJ) reportedly close to a decision on the deal, at least one Wall Street firm is betting that the Ticketmaster/Live Nation merger will happen.
In a report to investors, Thomas Weisel Partners (TWP) is continuing its estimates for Ticketmaster Entertainment stock, which trades under the symbol TKTM, with an “Overweight” rating and $12 one-year target price. The stock was trading down a bit at about $13.30 this afternoon, January 22.
However, should the merger go through, TWP estimates that the stock will be worth considerably more. “We retain our Overweight rating and $12.00 one-year target price on
Ticketmaster as a stand-alone entity although we estimate that it would be worth in the $17-18 range should the Live Nation merger go through.”
Live Nation stock, which trades under the symbol LYV, was trading up at about $9.22 this afternoon.
Last week during a panel at Ticket Summit, a host of ticket industry leaders all said they believed that deal would go through, even though a growing roster of consumer advocacy groups have come strongly against the merger in recent months.
In the investors report, TWP said it continues “to believe that regulatory approval for the company’s merger with Live Nation is likely with just some minimal regulatory remedies.”
The two companies have reportedly discussed several different types of concessions to help goose the deal along with the DOJ, and this week the New York Post this week reported that Live Nation may be looking at selling some of its venues to Anschultz Entertainment Group (AEG) to calm some of the antitrust fears that regulators have.
AEG is Live Nation’s biggest competitor in the concert business, but Randy Phillips, who runs the company’s concert business and Irving Azoff, CEO of Ticketmaster Entertainment, are reportedly enemies, which would make a deal difficult to maneuver. But according to the Post, the two might be willing to put differences aside for the sake of a mutually beneficial deal.