Reuters reported that Lloyd Webber made the announcement Jan. 9 on BBC's "Breakfast With Frost."
In the deal, British Lloyd Webber, who composed such theatrical mega hits as The Phantom of the Opera, Jesus Christ Superstar and Evita, buys such renowned houses as the Palladium, the Garrick, Her Majesty's and the Theater Royal Drury Lane. His Really Useful Group already owns the Adelphi, the Palace and the New London. The new business has not yet been named.
Reported competitors for the properties included American entrepreneur Max Weitzenhoffer and British producer Cameron Mackintosh. The Stoll Moss chain was put up for sale in 1999 by Australia's Janet Holmes a Court.
According to Reuters, Lloyd Webber stated: "I have been worried and I think a lot of people have been worried that the group would fall into the hands of people who are, you know, money men and who wouldn't necessarily understand that the thing about theater is you've got to take risks.'' Next up, creatively, for the composer is a tuner about politics and football, The Beautiful Game, set in northern Ireland.
-- By Kenneth Jones