LOS ANGELES (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Live Nation, the world’s largest live music company, announced today it has completed the divestiture of substantially all of the remainder of its North American theatrical business to Key Brand Entertainment, further focusing the company on its core music operations. The company will use the net proceeds from the sale to repay borrowings under its revolving credit facility and to invest in its core music business.
Key Brand Entertainment acquired the company’s Broadway Across America business, which produces and/or presents Broadway shows at primarily third-party venues in the U.S. and Canada, as well as its interest in three owned and five leased and/or managed theatrical venues located in Minneapolis, Boston, Baltimore and Toronto for a gross sale price of $90.4 million. The North American theatrical business acquired by Key Brand Entertainment is estimated to have generated $208.1 million of revenue, $11.1 million of Adjusted OIBDAN and $8.5 million of operating income for the year ended December 31, 2007.
The company will retain its lease for the Warner Theatre in Washington, D.C., which is increasingly being utilized as a music venue and The Boyd Theatre in Philadelphia, a wholly-owned, non-operational venue. As previously disclosed, Live Nation will also retain its United Kingdom theatrical assets, which include 17 theatres, the Hilton Theatre in New York City and the Boston Opera House. Together, on a pro forma basis, the retained theatrical assets generated $143.2 million of revenue, $26.0 million of Adjusted OIBDAN and $0.2 million of operating income, including $9.8 million of loss on sale of operating assets for the twelve months ended September 30, 2007.
With the sale of the remainder of its North American theatrical business, Live Nation has sold assets with a total gross sale price of over $260 million since 2006. These divestitures are part of the company’s strategy to focus on its core music business by divesting non-music or other non-core assets and utilizing the proceeds from those asset sales to reinvest in music-related assets. In addition to the North American theatrical business, the company has sold substantially all of its sports representation businesses, its San Francisco office building and a number of other non-core United Kingdom and United States venues. The company currently expects to continue to divest non-core/non-music related businesses. –by CelebrityAccess Staff Writers