Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino Sells $150 Million in Company Stock Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino Sells $150 Million in Company Stock
Live Nation Entertainment CEO Michael Rapino cashed out over $150 million worth of company stock in a series of trades over the past month,... Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino Sells $150 Million in Company Stock

Live Nation Entertainment CEO Michael Rapino cashed out over $150 million worth of company stock in a series of trades over the past month, according to SEC reporting. The stock had been acquired through the exercise of options he had received back in 2012 that were set to expire this year, according to Celebrity Access. The trades took place between March and April of this year.

The CEO of Live Nation since 2005, Michael Rapino became the CEO of Live Nation Entertainment following the merger of Live Nation and Ticketmaster in 2010. The longtime executive is significantly compensated with company stock options, tying his pay to company performance. That structure has been particularly beneficial in the last five years, as Live Nation stock (NYSE: LYV) has gone from trading at around $30/share to more than three times that – standing at just shy of $110/share as of mid-day Tuesday.

From Celebrity Access:

In all, Rapino sold about 1.34 million shares in the company but thanks to his exercised options, he ended the trades still owning more shares in Live Nation than he started with.

 

On March 3rd, Rapino reported to the SEC that he owned 2,860,241 shares in Live Nation and by the time the series of trades were completed, he still holds about 3.2 million shares, inclusive of all other common stock and restricted stock holdings, along with additional options worth about 600,000 shares.

Live Nation’s stock price has it trading at a far higher price than it was pre-pandemic, which saw it trading at $75 a share in late February 2020, which was itself an all-time high for the company. It dipped rapidly as the reality of what COVID-related restrictions might do to live entertainment and Live Nation at the center of that industry, shedding nearly 50% of its value within weeks. During that initial scare, Rapino helped calm jittery investors by purchasing $1 million worth of shares when prices were at their lowest, then guiding the company through the downturn by slashing costs – at least one estimate involved the company laying off more 95% of its workforce while events were halted – and raising capital.

Now the company is back to record-breaking revenue, and has been gobbling up competition, including the third largest promoter in the world in 2021 and the largest promoter in the Philippines just this week.

Questions regarding the Astroworld tragedy (and a blizzard of lawsuits) have brought LYV back from all-time highs of over $120/share reached in the fall of 2021, and there are long-simmering accusations of monopolistic and anti-competitive behavior that continue to dog Rapino and his company. But until a lawmaker can push past Live Nation’s massive lobbying war chest, it looks like Rapino’s choice to bet on himself and his company will continue to reap major financial reward.

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