According to a press statement, "The announcement comes after a review by the OFT into whether the acquisition would create any competition concerns. The merger clearance means that ATG can now move forward and fully integrate the two businesses."
The group's Joint Chief Executive Officer and Creative Director Howard Panter commented, "We are pleased with the outcome of the OFT review. We firmly believe that the transaction is of real benefit to theatregoers in the UK and for the theatre industry in general."
Co-founded by Panter with his joint CEO Rosemary Squire in 1992, ATG, with the acquisition of Live Nation Theatres, now has a total of 39 venues – comprising between them more than 11,000 seats in the West End (more than any other theatre operator), and nearly 38,000 seats outside London.
The Apollo Victoria and Lyceum Theatres, currently home to Wicked and The Lion King, respectively, join their existing portfolio that comprises the Comedy, Donmar Warehouse, Duke of York’s, Fortune, Phoenix, Piccadilly, Playhouse, Savoy, Trafalgar Studio 1 and Trafalgar Studio 2.
Their regional theatre portfolio now comprises the Ambassadors Woking (encompassing the New Victoria and Rhoda McGaw Theatres and a six-screen cinema complex, Ambassador Cinemas); Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham; Theatre Royal Brighton; Bristol Hippodrome; Churchill Theatre Bromley; Edinburgh Playhouse; Leas Cliff Hall, Folkestone; King’s Theatre and Theatre Royal, Glasgow; Grimsby Auditorium; Liverpool Empire; Palace Theatre and Opera House, Manchester; Milton Keynes Theatre; New Theatre and The Old Fire Station, Oxford; Richmond Theatre; Southport Theatre; Regent Theatre and Victoria Hall, Stoke-on-Trent; Sunderland Empire; Princess Theatre, Torquay; New Wimbledon Theatre and New Wimbledon Studio; Grand Opera House, York.