Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino sold over 1.4 million shares for a total of $158.5 million in numerous transactions from Jan. 13 to April 22, according to company SEC filings. The sales were part of a “trading plan to exercise options which were granted in 2012 and would otherwise expire in 2022,” the filings state.
With an option price of $7.75 per share – near where shares traded when the options were received – Rapino netted about $148 million before taxes.
Live Nation’s CEO since the company was spun off from Clear Channel Communications in December 2005, Rapino will own about 3.8 million shares of common stock worth about $314 million (based on Tuesday’s closing price of $107.61) at the end of this trading plan (including options to acquire an additional 627,602 shares of common stock). Live Nation’s share price has steadily appreciated over the last decade — except for a downturn during the 2020 COVID-19 recession — from below $10 a share in 2012 to as high as $127.75 on Nov. 5, 2021. Acquisitions of competing promoters and ticketing companies have helped revenues grow from $5.06 billion following its 2010 merger with Ticketmaster to $11.55 billion in 2019. After falling to $1.86 billion in 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions, Live Nation rebounded to $6.27 billion revenue in 2021.
Rapino also received 118,252 shares as restricted stock awards on March 4. Other executives to receive RSAs were Michael Rowles, general counsel and secretary, of 14,139 shares; Joe Berchtold, president and CFO, of 33,419 shares; and John Hopmans, EVP, mergers and acquisitions and strategic finance, of 31,891 shares. For all executives, some shares vest later in 2022 and a portion will vest in 2023 and 2024 if certain financial targets are achieved.