SFX Says Deal To Sell Company To Its Chairman Is Off

SFX Entertainment said Friday that a deal to sell the music-festival promoter to its chairman and CEO is off, although it said Robert Sillerman is still interested in buying the company at a lower price and there is another potential buyer.

Sillerman, who is also SFX’s largest shareholder, had agreed to take the company private in late May in a deal that valued it at around $490 million, or $5.25 per share. Since then the stock has plunged, closing at $1.94 on Thursday. The shares lost more than a quarter of their value Friday and closed at $1.39.

The company said Sillerman remains interested in acquiring SFX on his own or with partners. SFX said that it also received an “indication of interest” from another potential buyer that was smaller than Sillerman’s offer. SFX didn’t specify what the offer came to.

Several weeks after the deal to sell the company to Sillerman was announced, SFX announced a separate agreement to sell $15 million in stock to Sillerman and two investment funds. Sillerman agreed to buy $5 million in stock for $4.82 per share, well below the buyout price, while the investment funds paid an even lower price of $4.34 per share. SFX and Sillerman said the terms of the deal to take the company private would not change, but the stock continued to trade lower.

The agreement between SFX and Sillerman allowed the company to seek out other offers, but in July it said it had not received any formal competing bids. The company said there was interest in various parts of its business, however.

Sillerman was due to deliver the financing commitments for his offer on Thursday.

Now, a special board committee of SFX’s independent directors will entertain offers for the company and for non-central assets through at least Oct. 2, the company said Friday. SFX said Sillerman authorized that move. The company said it chose that date so potential acquirers can see how it performs during peak festival season. SFX’s events include the Electric Zoo, TomorrowWorld, and Rock in Rio.

The New York-based company also said it also waived the breakup fee provisions of its agreement with Sillerman. SFX had agreed to pay Sillerman as much as $15.5 million if it were sold to a different buyer.

Sillerman owns 31.8 percent of SFX’s stock, according to FactSet.

SFX went public in October 2013 with an IPO that priced at $13 per share.