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HOB On The Sale Block Again?

The buzz about House of Blues Concerts looking for a buyer is abuzz again. According to sources, the company is expected to merge with or be bought early next year by one of a myriad of suitors. HOB has recently been forced to cutback on its plans to build new venues because of a lack of much-needed capital.

Included among the players are Concerts West, former Ticketmaster chief Fred Rosen's Key3Media Group and Vivendi Universal.

Concerts West, co-owned by billionaire Phil Anschutz and music industry mogul Irving Azoff, made an oral offer earlier this year, but nothing materialized on paper. Rosen is looking to grow Key3Media into the live music sector. The company now produces business trade shows focusing on technology. A sale to Vivendi would take the company full circle and back into the live music industry. In July 1999, one of its subsidiaries, Seagram, sold Universal Concerts to House of Blues for $190 million. Less than a year later, Seagram was bought by Vivendi for $30 billion.

Sources indicate HOB is seeking between $250 million and $350 million.

A spokesperson for Azoff commented, "Rumors, rumors, rumors."