U.K.'s Ambassador Theatre Group Has New Private Equity Majority Shareholder

News   U.K.'s Ambassador Theatre Group Has New Private Equity Majority Shareholder
The U.K.'s Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG) has announced that global private equity firm Providence Equity Partners have become a major shareholder in the company, after successfully reaching an agreement for its seventh fund to purchase a majority share from current investors led by Exponent Private Equity, the latter of whom will retain a minority stake as part of the deal.

ATG is, according to press materials, "the world's number one live-theatre group with a total of 40 venues in Britain and on Broadway and an internationally recognised theatre producer with co-productions in New York, across North America, Europe, Asia and Australia. ATG is also a leader in theatre ticketing services through ATG Tickets – issuing more than 10m tickets annually."

On Broadway, it acquired the Foxwoods Theatre on West 42nd Street, currently home to Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark, in May 2013, for an undisclosed sum.

Prior to the sale, Exponent had been ATG's majority shareholder since 2009 when the company acquired Live Nation's UK theatres. The terms of the transaction with Providence were not disclosed. According to press materials, Providence is the world's leading private equity firm focused on media, communications, education and information investments. The firm manages funds with $37 billion in commitments and has invested in more than 130 companies globally since its inception in 1989. Providence is headquartered in Providence, RI (USA) and also has offices in New York, London, Hong Kong, Beijing and New Delhi.

In a press statement, ATG's joint CEO's Sir Howard Panter and Rosemary Squire OBE commented, "We’re thrilled with today’s announcement and very pleased to be working alongside Providence in taking ATG into the next exciting phase of its development. This new partnership cements the foundations for the company’s planned future growth. Providence’s extensive global reach and its existing investments in media, digital and live entertainment companies around the world offer an unparalleled opportunity for ATG to realise its international ambitions. We're also pleased to be maintaining our close working relationship with Exponent with whom we’ve enjoyed some real success over the past 4 years."

Andrew Tisdale, managing director of Providence, added, "We have been very impressed by the management of ATG who have built a terrific company over more than 20 years. We believe strongly in the long term value of live entertainment. ATG is well-known for the high quality of its theatrical and musical content and venues and we look forward to working closely with Howard, Rosemary, their senior management team and Exponent in continuing to grow ATG."

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