British Owners of Broadway's Lyric Theatre Buy 5 More American Playhouses

News   British Owners of Broadway's Lyric Theatre Buy 5 More American Playhouses
 
Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG), the British-based live-theatre company that established a Broadway beachhead in 2014 with the purchase of Broadway's biggest theatre, the Lyric, and which has been expanding in the U.K. and the Far East, announced that it has signed a deal to purchase five more large-scale playhouses across the U.S., including one in Brooklyn, NY.

ATG will acquire ACE Theatrical Group, which owns the following:

  • The Kings Theatre in Brooklyn recently underwent a $95 million renovation to convert the gilded movie palace into a state-of-the-art performing arts facility. Brooklyn's largest indoor legitimate theatre with 3,072 seats––the fourth largest in New York City––the Kings reopened in February 2015.
  • The Saenger Theatre in New Orleans. Built in 1927 in the Italian Renaissance style, the Saenger hosts touring Broadway tours and major headlining musicals. Following Hurricane Katrina, the Saenger became the focus of a $53 million redevelopment project, restoring the original 1927 design. The 2,613 seat venue reopened in 2013.
  • The 2,153 seat Mahalia Jackson Theater for the Performing Arts in New Orleans underwent a $30 million refurbishment following Hurricane Katrina. The theatre is home to the New Orleans Opera Association, the New Orleans Ballet Association, and a wide variety of performing arts attractions.
  • The Majestic Theatre in San Antonio, TX. The 2,264 seat Majestic was built in 1929 and is home to the "Broadway in San Antonio" series, along with a wide variety of concerts and performing arts attractions.
  • The Charline McCombs Empire Theatre in San Antonio, TX. Built in 1913, the Empire Theatre operated first as a vaudeville house and then a motion picture theatre. Following a $5 million renovation, the venue reopened in 1998 as the Charline McCombs Empire Theatre. The 856 seat Empire is home to a wide variety of programming.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Once the purchase goes through in mid September, ATG will own 45 theatres worldwide.
ATG reportedly is looking to expand its holdings in New York City. It was a partner with Lincoln Center Theatre on the current Tony-winning revival of The King and I. The company also recently announced the purchase of a large musical-theatre house in Sydney, Australia.

In a joint statement, ATG’s CEOs, Sir Howard Panter and Rosemary Squire OBE, said, “Our international vision is to roll out our unique fully-integrated business model globally – expanding further throughout North America and into other territories worldwide. The acquisition of ACE presents us with a superb opportunity to work with old friends to help develop that vision. ACE is a team that we know shares ATG’s ethos, ambition and absolute passion for live theatre."

ATG is majority-owned by Providence Equity Partners, a global private equity firm focused on equity investments in media, communications, education, and information companies. The firm manages funds with over $40 billion in commitments and has invested in more than 140 companies globally since its inception in 1989. ATG is based on London, but Providence Equity Partners is headquartered in Providence, RI and also has offices in New York, London, Hong Kong, Singapore, and New Delhi. Visit www.provequity.com for more information.

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