Live Nation – Exit Stage Right

NEW YORK (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Live Nation has completed its sale of its North American theatrical business to Key Brand Entertainment, leaving the firm free to focus on its core business of live music.

Included in the package that went to Key Brand was Live Nation's Broadway Across America, 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. According to Live Nation, their theatrical division pulled in nearly $220 million in 2007.

Live Nation kept some of its holdings however. The lease for the Warner Theater in Washington D.C. will be retained as it is increasingly featuring live music rather than traditional theater fare and their ownership of the Boyd Theatre in nearby Philly will also continue, unabated. They are also holding on to the lion's share of their UK theatrical division, which encompasses 17 theatres, the Hilton Theatre in New York City and the Boston Opera House.

Key Brand is a theatrical company helmed by John Gore, who has long experience in the theatrical world, including becoming one of the youngest producers to ever helm a smash hit in the West End. John initially founded Key Brand to oversee Andrew Lloyd Webber's catalogue of shows, including Cats and The Phantom of the Opera.

Key Brand Entertainment will be headquartered in New York City, and former Clear Channel Entertainment President of Theatrical Production, Beth Williams, is being named Chief Operating Officer and Head of Production for Key Brand. Steven Winton and David M. Anderson will continue to serve as Chief Executive Officer and Chief Operating Officer, respectively, of Broadway Across America. As for the rest of the rank and file, Key Brand has stated that they have no intention currently of making changes. – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers

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