Robert Sillerman, SFX Entertainment Founder, Dies at 71

Robert Sillerman OBIT - Getty - H 2019
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Sillerman sold SFX's concert business to Clear Channel in 2000 for $4.4 billion, and it was eventually spun off into Live Nation.

Robert F.X. Sillerman, the New York businessman who consolidated a number of U.S. concert promoters in the 1990s and created the company that would eventually become Live Nation, died Sunday. He was 71.

A native of The Bronx, Sillerman early on built a name as a radio and television station owner. By the 1990s, SFX Broadcasting had grown into the seventh-largest broadcasting company in the country. In 1997, he formed SFX Entertainment and bought up several U.S. concert promoters, including Ron Delsner's Delsener/Slater Enterprises in New York and Pace Concerts in Houston. In 2000, Sillerman sold SFX's concert business for $4.4 billion to Clear Channel, which eventually spun the company off into Live Nation.

Sillerman relaunched SFX as an electronic music company in 2012, buying up EDM promoters including React Presents in Chicago and ID&T in Europe. SFX filed for bankruptcy in early 2016 and, after Sillerman later stepped down, was embroiled in a number of lawsuits. The company re-emerged as LiveStyle later that year.

Earlier this year, Sillerman agreed to pay a $179,000 fine to the Securities and Exchange Commission for diverting company funds to personal accounts while misrepresenting celebrity endorsements and the financial health of his online publishing and entertainment business Function(x) to attract new investors.

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