LOS ANGELES (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — While much ink has been spilled about the potential regulatory barriers to the Live Nation/Ticketmaster merger, one of the biggest challenges to the deal appears to be coming from Live Nation's largest shareholder.
"I’m very much against going into business with Mr. Diller." Sam Shapiro, chairman of Shapiro Capital Management which owns a 15 percent stake in Live Nation told Bloomberg during an interview.
Shapiro isn't totally against the deal and has suggested that he would consider supporting the merger if Mr. Diller accepted diminished authority at the company after the merger. For now, Shapiro is holding off on making a decision until after the regulatory hurdles have been cleared as the required filings would detail everyone's role.
Michael Rapino has expressed confidence that the matter could be favorably resolved, stating that "We will be able to deal with all of Sam’s concerns." He went on to characterize Shapiro's objections as "minor to whether he’ll vote yes or no in the big picture" Bloomberg said.
Other voices in Shapiro, such as Sam Shapiro's son Louis have been more supportive of the deal.
"We’re for the deal," Louis Shapiro told Bloomberg “[Shapiro Capital Management] will absolutely vote with Michael Rapino," he said, "as long as they believe it will create value for shareholders."
Through a spokesman at Ticketmaster, Mr. Diller declined to comment on the matter. – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers