Clear Channel Entertainment is out of the running in its quest to acquire House of Blues
Concerts, reports the Rocky Mountain News. For the deal to go through, Clear
Channel would have had to sell off nearly as many assets as it was acquiring in order
to comply with antitrust laws. Additionally, not only does Clear Channel have to
contend with potential antitrust investigations, Denver promoter and competitor
Nobody in Particular Presents has a federal lawsuit filed against the company.
However, one scenario would have HOB divided up between Concerts West and
Clear Channel where Clear Channel would purchase a few select clubs, while
Concerts West would own most of HOB, including its concert division and majority
of clubs. Regarding property assets, the paper reports insiders believe HOB's
Fiddler's Green Amphtheatre would wind up with Concerts West, while Clear
Channel would pick up Hi-Fi Buys Amphitheatre in Atlanta and Smirnoff Music
Center in Dallas, both of which are co-owned by HOB and Clear Channel.
The Gorge in Washington and Blossom Music Center in Cleveland, both HOB
buildings, have also been suggested as going into the Clear Channel column.
HOB's board of directors are expected to analyze the offers next week.
Radio chain Entercom, a former contender and owner of two radio stations in
Denver, had an interesting angle. In conjunction with mega manager Howard
Kaufman, they would become co-owners of the HOB club chain. Its offer, along
with another interested buyer, Fred Rosen's Key3Media, ranged from $200 million
to $270 million.
Insiders believe the Concerts West/Clear Channel scenario is the most likely with
Concerts West getting the entire Denver, San Diego and Los Angeles markets;
HOB's Canadian operations would likely be divided.