ATG's Live Nation Theater Purchase Pays Off

LONDON (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Since purchasing more than a dozen London-area theaters from Live Nation in 2009, the UK-based Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG), has seen both its revenues and profits grow.

The company paid more than $140 million for the 17 Live Nation theaters, a move that was almost derailed by a lawsuit filed by ATG rival Key Brand Entertainment (KBE), which unsuccessfully tried to claim that it had a deal with Live Nation to be given a final chance to bid on the theaters, according to TicketNews.

Following closing the deal in 2009, ATG became the country's dominant theater owner/operator, with theaters throughout London's West End and nearby areas.

According to The Stage, ATG's revenues grew 5 percent from April 2010 through March 2011, the first full reporting year since the acquisition, to more than $155.5 million, and Earnings before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization (EBITDA) rose 3 percent to just under $28 million.

"We're very pleased with the results," ATG co-CEO Rosemary Squire told The Stage. "We had a half year before, but this is the first combined full year of the business. EBITDA was about 3 percent up on the previous year if you look at the trading of the two groups separately and put them together. We're pleased, given the [economic] conditions and that it's a special year for our business as there are a lot of costs which are one-off costs to combine two big businesses."

— Crystal Lynn Huntoon