LONDON (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Live Nation is finalizing an agreement to divest their U.K. theatrical holdings to the Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG) in a deal worth £100m.
According to the London Times, the deal was being finalized over the weekend and was financed with bank borrowing and additional funds raised from investors such as real estate magnates Sir John and Peter Beckwith, Greg Dyke and Simon Oliver, the London Times reported
ATG was founded in 1992 by the husband and wife team of Howard Panter and Rosemary Squire and the deal with Live Nation will make ATG a dominant player in London's West End and the firm will oversee 38,000 seats across the UK.
Included among the 17 venues in the deal are a number of high-profile theatres West-End venues, including the Apollo Victoria and Lyceum theatres along with a partial stake in The Dominion. Theatres outside of London include the the Liverpool Empire, Grimsby Auditorium and Edinburgh Playhouse.
The divestment follows Live Nation's stated strategy of focusing on the live music sector of the industry and they have similarly sold off theatrical units in major markets in the U.S., including Boston, Los Angeles and Chicago. Despite the sale, Live Nation remains both the largest promoter and venue owner in the U.K. and manage Wembley Arena and the Manchester Apollo along with a network of venues known as the O2 Academies in cities including Glasgow, Liverpool and Birmingham. – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers