Enhances United Kingdom music venue presence
Brings well-recognized AMG brand under the Live Nation umbrella
Drives growth through continued new venue roll-out
LOS ANGELES, March 30 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Live Nation, Inc. (Live Nation) and Gaiety Investments (Gaiety) have together completed the acquisition of a 56% interest in Academy Music Holdings Limited (AMG) from RJD Partners. AMG owns and operates 12 live music venues which annually host over 2,500 events attracting 3+ million fans. AMG’s portfolio includes some of the UK’s most successful music venues such as Carling Academy Brixton and Shepherd’s Bush Empire. In addition, AMG is expected to continue its roll-out of music venues throughout the UK. The acquisition of AMG substantially accelerates Live Nation’s UK music venue strategy and builds on its already strong partnership with Gaiety, with whom it already owns Mean Fiddler Holdings Ltd., the company behind the successful Reading and Leeds and Latitude festivals.
“AMG has one of the strongest live music venue brands in the UK,” said Live Nation Chief Executive Officer Michael Rapino. “The venues that we are acquiring are among the best in the world. The acquisition of AMG will enable us to grow our UK venue network with a brand that music fans know and love.”
The transaction values AMG at $114.0 million, including the assumption of $56.9 million of bank debt and third-party shareholder loans. For the twelve months ended December 31, 2006, AMG generated $11.6 million of Adjusted EBITDA. AMG is expected to demonstrate strong growth as it rolls out new venues (including two new venue leases AMG has recently signed), younger venues mature and revenue and supply synergies from the combination with Live Nation and Gaiety are realized.
As a condition to the acquisition of AMG, Mean Fiddler Holdings Ltd. and Live Nation have each entered into conditional agreements for the divestment to MAMA Group PLC of the Forum and London’s Hammersmith Apollo venues, respectively. For the year ended 31 December 2006, the Forum and Hammersmith venues generated $3.7 million of Adjusted EBITDA. The expected sale price for the two venues is $26.9 million, net of fees and expenses associated with the transaction.
Initially, Live Nation-Gaiety’s joint venture will hold a 44% interest in AMG and Gaiety will continue to hold its existing 12% stake in AMG. Gaiety expects to later contribute its stake to the Live Nation-Gaiety joint venture. Live Nation holds a 50.1% interest in the joint venture with Gaiety.
Portions of this release may contain forward-looking statements regarding future events and are subject to risks and uncertainties. Live Nation wishes to caution you that there are some factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements, including but not limited to, challenges in achieving strategic objectives and the risk that our business does not evolve as anticipated. Live Nation refers you to the documents it files from time to time with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, specifically the section titled “Item 1A. Risk Factors” of Live Nation’s most recent Annual Report filed on Form 10-K, which contains and identifies other important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in our projections or forward-looking statements. Stockholders and other readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date on which they are made. We undertake no obligation to update publicly or revise any forward-looking statements.
Throughout the text of this release, we refer to Adjusted EBITDA. Adjusted EBITDA is a non-GAAP financial measure that the company defines as operating income (loss) before certain unusual and/or non-cash charges, depreciation and amortization, loss (gain) on sale of operating assets and non-cash compensation expense.
US dollars are exchanged from Great British Pounds at 1.9624, the exchange rate as of March 29, 2007.
About Live Nation
Live Nation is the world’s largest live music company. Our mission is to inspire passion for live music around the world. We are the largest promoter of live concerts in the world, the second-largest entertainment venue management company and have a rapidly growing online presence. We create superior experiences for artists and fans, regularly producing tours for the biggest superstars in the business, including The Rolling Stones, Barbra Streisand, Madonna, U2 and Coldplay. Globally, we own, operate, have booking rights for and/or have an equity interest in more than 160 venues, including House of Blues(R) music venues and prestigious locations such as The Fillmore in San Francisco, Nikon at Jones Beach in New York and London’s Wembley Arena. Our websites collectively are the second most popular entertainment/event websites in the United States, according to Nielsen//NetRatings. In addition, we also produce, promote or host theatrical, specialized motor sports and other live entertainment events. In 2006, we connected nearly 60 million fans with their favorite performers at approximately 26,000 events in 18 countries around the world. Headquartered in Los Angeles, California, Live Nation is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, trading under the symbol “LYV.”
About Academy Music Group
Academy Music Group (AMG) is the UK’s leading owner and operator of nationwide live music and club venues, including South London’s award winning concert venue, Carling Academy Brixton (NME Best Venue 2007, Vodafone Live Music Awards Best Live Music Venue 2006, Time Out Venue Of The Year 2004) and Shepherd’s Bush Empire (London) (Music Week Awards Best Venue 2005) as well as further Carling Academy venues in Glasgow, Newcastle, Liverpool, Birmingham, Bristol, Islington (London) and Bar Academy venues in Birmingham and Islington (London) as well as The Zodiac, Oxford, which will be redeveloped to open as Carling Academy Oxford in September 2007. In June 2006, Academy Music Group was the winner of The Sunday Times’ Profit Track ‘One To Watch’ award across all industry sectors, honoured for its profit growth and success as one of Britain’s top private companies. In February 2007, AMG announced it had acquired its twelfth site for future development, The Hippodrome in Brighton.
About RJD Partners
RJD Partners (formerly Royal London Private Equity) raised its first fund in April 2003 and invested in Academy Music Group in August 2004. Its first fund has made a total of eight investments, including merchant services provider Cardsave, debt collection agency Equidebt and holiday boat operator European Boating Holidays. It announced the first close of its second fund in July 2006 and the buyout of its own business from Royal London Mutual Insurance in October 2006.
SOURCE Live Nation, Inc.
CONTACT: John Vlautin of Live Nation, Inc., +1-310-867-7127,