Live Nation Plans to Shed Most of North American Theatrical Division

News   Live Nation Plans to Shed Most of North American Theatrical Division
Live Nation, in its March 1 announcement of its 2006 financial results, stated that it is starting the process of divesting the majority of its North American theatrical business assets.

The overall objective for the wide-reaching producer, promoter and host of theatrical and other live events is "to focus on our core global music business." Live Nation's Broadway Across America series welcomes touring musicals and plays to major markets around North America.

According to the 2006 Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2006 Financial Results statement, "As part of our strategy we have launched a process to divest the majority of our North American theatrical business assets. The assets we anticipate including in this divestiture include (i) our Broadway Across America business — the largest subscription series in the United States for touring theatrical performances, (ii) 13 theatrical venues which we own, operate or have an equity interest in located in the seven major North American markets of Chicago, Boston, Baltimore, Minneapolis, Toronto, Washington D.C. and Philadelphia and (iii) our remaining 50.1 percent interest in a production of the Phantom of the Opera at The Venetian Resort Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. Our United Kingdom theatrical assets as well as the [Broadway] New York Hilton [Theatre] and the Boston Opera House will not be included in the divestiture process due to certain tax restrictions associated with our spin-off from Clear Channel Communications."

There is no firm timeline for this process, the company said. "We cannot predict when, or if, any transaction will occur with respect to these properties," according to the release.

During 2006 Live Nation divested certain non-core assets, including, some sports representation businesses, certain Las Vegas-based productions, and, in January 2007, Donington Park, a racetrack in the United Kingdom.

Michael Rapino, president and chief executive officer of Live Nation said in a statement, "We began 2006 as a broad-based live entertainment company with a vision to transform ourselves into a global vertically integrated live music company. Since then, we successfully moved Live Nation closer to our goal by (i) beginning to shed non-core businesses such as our sports representation business and Las Vegas productions and announcing the plan to divest selected non-core venues and our North American theatrical business, (ii) aggressively expanding our live music platform by acquiring House of Blues, CPI and entering new top tier global music markets and (iii) extending our capabilities to provide additional goods and services surrounding live music events by establishing and acquiring majority stakes in companies such as Musictoday and TRUNK. Now, at the beginning of 2007, I can say we are focused on live music with the tools to execute on our strategy to become a global vertically integrated music company, connecting artists and fans through the live concert experience." Live Nation's mission "is to inspire passion for live music around the world."

Headquartered in Los Angeles, CA, Live Nation is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, trading under the symbol "LYV."

For more information regarding Live Nation and its businesses, visit the company's website at

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