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Live Nation Buys Rest Of Front Line For $116M

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Concert promoter Live Nation is buying the remaining 25 percent of its Front Line artist management business that it didn't already own from key executive Irving Azoff and Madison Square Garden.

In addition, Live Nation named Azoff chairman of the board, replacing Liberty Media Corp.'s John Malone. Malone was named chairman of Live Nation temporarily in October after a boardroom power struggle involving Barry Diller.

Liberty is also increasing its stake in Live Nation Entertainment Inc. to about 20 percent if shareholders approve.

The move, announced Monday and completed last week, will cost the company $116.2 million in cash and stock. But the company says tax benefits and the elimination of an annual dividend will increase free cash flow by $20 million a year.

Previously, most of Azoff's compensation came through the Front Line business.

(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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