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Live Nation Wheelin' And Dealin'

LOS ANGELES (VIP NEWS) — In addition to its merger with Ticketmaster in January 2010, Live Nation Entertainment aggressively expanded its footprint through 14 other deals last year, according to details listed in the company's 2010 annual report.

Not all of the deals were publicized, and some details of others were not known until the report was issued on Monday.

In the months following the merger, Live Nation invested in management companies, promotion companies, a ticketing company, a venue owner and operator, and a company that sells photographs.

Involving companies on three continents, the deals range from Gellman Management, which handles country act Sugarland, to Haymon Ventures, with which Live Nation is co-producing Lil Wayne's "I Am Still Music Tour 2011."

The deals vary by level of ownership. In five of the deals, the company acquired a stake in the company for the first time. In two of them, Live Nation acquired the remaining stake. It upped its existing ownership stake in four of the deals and bought 100% of the company in three of the deals.

According to Billboard Live Nation completed deals with the following management companies in 2010:

— A 50% stake in U.S.-based Gellman Management, manager of country act Sugarland.

— The remaining 50% stake in Career Artist Management, which manages Maroon 5, Sara Bareilles, Barenaked Ladies, Collective Soul, Taylor Hicks, Breaking Benjamin, Megadeth, Vanessa Carlton, Stone Temple Pilots and Anthrax.

— A 50% stake in SME Entertainment Group, a Los Angeles-based agency that provides talent and production for corporate events and private parties. The joint venture was announced in October. Live Nation chairman Irving Azoff is the CEO of the joint venture. SME founder and president Corey E. Shapoff is its president.

— A 40% stake in B.A.D. Management. Announced in October, B.A.D. Management is a venture between Front Line Management, Scott Borchetta (Big Machine president and CEO) and Virginia Davis, manager of the artist Jewel. Based in Nashville, B.A.D. manages Jewel, Steel Magnolia and Edens Edge.

— A 50%, non-controlling stake in Three Six Zero Group Limited. In January, UK-based Three Six Zero and Roc Nation, Live Nation's joint venture with Jay-Z, announced they have a deal to represent each other's acts in their home countries. Three Six Zero artists include DeadMau5 and Calvin Harris.

— 100% of U.S.-based Marcy Musik Management

On the promotion and live events side of the business, Live Nation also did the following six deals:

— Acquired the remaining 49% stake in Live Nation-Haymon Ventures, which is producing Lil Wayne's 2011 North American tour

— Acquired a 24.5% stake in Live Nation France Festivals, the producer of Main Square Festival in France, raising its ownership to 75%

— Acquired 100% of Live in Italy, an Italian company that promotes and sells hard rock and metal events and promotes the largest heavy metal festival in the country, the Gods of Metal

— Acquired a 30% stake in Amsterdam Music Dome Exploitatie B.V., raising its total to 81%. The venue is expected to open this year in the Netherlands.

— Acquired a 17.3% stake in Live Nation Middle East FZ-LLC, raising its total to 82.3%. The Dubai-based promotion company was formerly named Mirage. Live Nation acquired a 65% stake in the company in February 2008.

— Acquired an 83% stake in Get Live 2, raising its total to 93%. This joint venture owns Parcolimpico, which manages venues in Turin, Italy.

There were two other acquisition deals in 2010. One was a 50% non-controlling interest in Rock, Paper, Photo. A job posting at LinkedIn describes the company as "a soon-to-be-launched e-commerce platform dedicated to the world's finest fine arts photography" that is "backed by powerful industry partnerships."

In addition, Ticketmaster acquired Ticketnet, the second largest ticket retailer in France, in a deal that was announced in November.

Finally, the company gave details on three divestitures in 2010: Paciolan, which was sold at a $5.2 million loss to Comcast-Spectator as a condition to gain regulatory approval of its January 2010 merger with Ticketmaster; Cirkus, a music theater in Sweden, for a $3.1 million gain; and Pleasure PAAS Party, an indoor Latin/salsa event in Sweden, and the associated Pleasure Magazine.

According to Billboard