LiveOne To Spin Off PodcastOne, List Stock on Nasdaq – Billboard

LiveOne will capitalize on the booming podcast industry by spinning off its PodcastOne business as a standalone entity through a dividend to shareholders as of August 28, the company announced Thursday. PodcastOne shares were approved for listing on the Nasdaq exchange on Monday (Aug. 14) and will begin trading under the “PODC” symbol on Sept. 8.

LiveOne, which also owns the music streaming platform Slacker Radio, will issue a dividend of about 19% of PodcastOne shares to its shareholders and retain the remaining roughly 81% of the outstanding shares. LiveOne CEO Robert Ellin said he expects PodcastOne stock will be priced between $8 — the minimum price for Nasdaq-listed stocks — and $12 per share. A third-party valuation of PodcastOne in February put the company at between $230 million and $274 million.

“We will be very aggressive to continue to grow that and it’s a big part of the reason we’re taking the company public,” Ellin said during a conference call for investors on Thursday (Aug. 17). The company currently has a pipeline “of over 10 additional acquisitions that we’re carefully taking a look at,” he added. 

PodcastOne has a number of popular podcasters including Adam Carolla, Dr. Drew Pinsky and Jordan Harbinger. It ranked 10th in Podtrac’s publisher ranking for July 2023. Last week, LiveOne obtained the exclusive network distribution and advertising rights to comedian Brendan Schaub’s portfolio of podcasts including The Schaub Show and The Fighter.

PodcastOne already has two important acquisitions in 2023. LiveOne entered into a letter of intent to acquire Kast Media, a podcast network expected to add up to $10 million in annual revenue and boost earnings for PodcastOne. The company also has a binding letter of intent to acquire Guru Fantasy Reports, owner of fantasy football website Fantasy Guru, that Ellie said he expects will close “in the next few weeks.” The all-stock deal is expected to add annual revenue of $2.5 million and over $600,000 in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization. 

PodcastOne had revenue of $10.6 million in the quarter ended June 30, accounting for roughly 38% of LiveOne’s total revenue. Last week, LiveOne raised its guidance for PodcastOne’s full fiscal year revenue from $34 million to a range of $42 million to $47 million. 

Separately, LiveOne also plans to make Slacker Radio a standalone, publicly traded entity through a merger with Roth CH Acquisition V Co., a special purpose acquisition company. LiveOne and Roth have signed a letter of intent but no merger date has been announced. LiveOne said it expects Slacker to have a pre-money valuation of $160 million. 

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