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Takeaway: Spending +60% of its cash to acquire an ancillary business ahead of a potentially crippling Web IV decision is a very telling statement.


  1. BRANCHING INTO TICKETING: P is acquiring Ticketfly for $450M, split equally between cash and stock.  Ticketfly generated $55M in 2014 revenue, and $35M in 1H15 revenue.  P didn't provide any info regarding Ticketfly's margin profile, but it's not likely that P will recoup the $225M cash acquisition price in Ticketfly cashflow anytime soon.  Note that this is a particularly aggressive move for a company with only $372M in cash on its balance sheet.  If P wanted exposure to ticketing, it could have done so through any number of partner agreements.  
  2. DUMB OR DEFEATED? Remember that P doesn't generate any material cash flow as it is, so spending over 60% of its remaining cash to acquire a new business ahead of a potentially crippling Web IV decision is a very telling statement either way.  P is either overconfident in the Web IV outcome to the point where it can start depleting its cash reserves, or it is getting ready to blow up its model ahead of an adverse outcome, and needs another story to pitch the street.  Either way P's financial flexibility will be considerably hampered after the close of the acquisition, so P will have even less wiggle room to absorb a rate increase.  And for those of you who think that can't happen, please read the note below. 

P: It's All About the Benchmarks (Web IV)

10/02/15 12:22 PM EDT
[click here]

Let us know if you have any questions or would like to discuss in more detail.

Hesham Shaaban, CFA