SFX Entertainment, the producing, promoting and venue giant which is making increasingly large strides into the world of legitimate theatre, has filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission to sell 7.5 million Class A shares. In its SEC registration filing, SFX stated that it would use the income from the sale for future acquisitions and other corporate uses.
In the last couple months, SFX has become a dominating presence in both U.S. and British theatre. Earlier this summer, it bought the beleaguered Canadian and American theatrical producing company Livent for $115 million, in one fell swoop acquiring nearly all of Livent's assets -- including its theatres (the Ford Center for the Performing Arts in New York, the Pantages Theatre in Toronto and the Ford Center for the Performing Arts-Oriental Theatre in Chicago) and current and future shows.
Then, on Aug. 3, SFX acquired Britain's biggest theatre operator, the Apollo Leisure Group, for nearly £160 million. Apollo counts amongst its interests London's Apollo Victoria, Apollo Hammersmith and its flagship theatre, the Lyceum, where Disney's The Lion King is preparing to open next month. Also among its holdings are venues based outside the capital, including such prominent regional theatres as the Palace in Manchester and the Hippodrome in Bristol.
Prior to the Apollo announcement, SFX, had been rumored as a possible buyer of both Stoll Moss and Crescent -- both up for sale. But this is now unfeasible as the Office of Fair Trading will not approve such a monopoly. SFX is already the largest operator of live entertainment venues in the world with 82 properties in the U.S.
--By Robert Simonson