Buzz that Live Nation would unload its motor sports division has been percolating for months, and today the company announced that it has completed the sale of Live Nation Motor Sports to Feld Entertainment for an aggregate purchase price of $205 million, consisting of $175 million in cash, plus a performance-based earn out of up to $30 million.

The acquisition marks the biggest expansion in Feld history, and the company will be rechristened Feld Entertainment Motor Sports immediately. Feld Entertainment, the world's largest global producer of family shows, is best known as the producer of Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus, and also fields highly profitable productions such as Disney On Ice, Disney's High School Musical On Ice, Disney Live, and Doodlebops Live.

This is the first foray into motor sports for Feld, which is headed by president/CEO Kenneth Feld. It is believed that all the core executives of Live Nation Motor Sports will remain, including president Charlie Mancuso. Feld Entertainment Motor Sports will continue operations in Aurora, Ill., and will maintain its current management, tour schedules, promotional partnerships and performance structure.

Under the Feld banner, the company will continue to produce Monster Jam Series, Monster Energy AMA Supercross, FIM Championship and other high-energy motor sports events, including the AMA Arenacross Series, Freestyle Motocross, and International Hot Rod Association (IHRA) sanctioned events, including Knoll Gas Nitro Jam, Thunder Jam and Street Warriorz. Under Live Nation, the motor sports division produced some 600 shows a year.

For the acquisition of Live Nation Motor Sports, Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. acted as financial advisor, and Fulbright & Jaworski, L.L.P. served as outside legal counsel to Feld Entertainment. In addition, Bank of America, N.A., led a group of seven banks to provide financing to Feld Entertainment in connection with the transaction. Live Nation says it will use the net proceeds from the sale to repay borrowings under its revolving credit facility, to permanently reduce a portion of its term loan and to invest in its core music business.

With the sale of its motor sports division, Live Nation says it has sold assets with a total aggregate sale price of over $465 million since 2006. These divestitures have been part of the company's strategy to focus on its core music business by divesting non-music or other non-core assets and utilizing the proceeds from those sales to reinvest in music-related assets. In addition to motor sports, the company has sold substantially all of its North American theatrical business, substantially all of its sports representation business, its San Francisco office building and a number of non-core venues in the United Kingdom and the United States.