Live Nation is selling three of its non-core real estate properties in Boston, MA, for about $22.5 million. Live Nation will receive a portion of the profits of the Orpheum Theatre, if any, over the next five years. The other two venues involved in the deal are the Boston Opera House and Paradise Rock Club.
Live Nation will continue to promote music at the three venues but not theatrical shows. The deal is expected to close in the third quarter of 2009.
The buyer of the properties is Boston Opera House Ventures, LLC, of which Don Law, president of Live Nation New England, is a principle along with David Mugar, a Boston area businessman. When Law sold his concert company to SFX (bought later by Clear Channel Communications and then spun off as Live Nation) about a decade ago, the Orpheum and Paradise were part of the deal. According to Live Nation, Law did not have a buy-back clause in his contract.
“This sale will generate a multiple to operating income in excess of 10x and allow us to apply 50 percent of the proceeds as a permanent reduction in our term loans,” said Michael Rapino, Live Nation president and chief executive officer, said in a statement. “We are actively working to divest our remaining non-core assets as we continue to enhance our liquidity and de-lever our balance sheet.”
In its statement, Live Nation also said it will “recognize a non-cash impairment charge of approximately $7.7 million in the first quarter of 2009 which reflects the difference between the sales price and the carrying value on the company’s balance sheet driven primarily by the 2004 value of the Boston Opera House. This non-cash charge does not affect the company’s liquidity, adjusted operating income or operating cash flows.”
Live Nation still retains some choice real estate in Boston, including the new House of Blues, the Bank of America Pavilion, and the Comcast Center in Mansfield, MA.