Ambassador Theatre Group thrives with Live Nation UK theaters Ambassador Theatre Group thrives with Live Nation UK theaters
The UK-based Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG), which bought more than a dozen London-area theaters from Live Nation in 2009, has seen both its revenues... Ambassador Theatre Group thrives with Live Nation UK theaters

The UK-based Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG), which bought more than a dozen London-area theaters from Live Nation in 2009, has seen both its revenues and profits grow since the purchase.

The company paid more than $140 million for the 17 Live Nation theaters, a move that was almost derailed by a lawsuit filed by ATG rival Key Brand Entertainment (KBE), which unsuccessfully tried to claim that it had a deal with Live Nation to be given a final chance to bid on the theaters.

KBE had bought several U.S. theaters from Live Nation in 2008, and it believed it had a separate bidding deal with Live Nation after that. The lawsuit was dismissed, however, and the ATG purchase closed in late 2009.

ATG already owned more than a dozen UK theaters prior to the acquisition, and following the purchase it became the country’s dominant theater owner/operator, with theaters throughout London’s West End and nearby areas.

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According to The Stage, ATG’s revenues grew 5 percent from April 2010 through March 2011, the first full reporting year since the acquisition, to more than $155.5 million, and Earnings before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization (EBITDA) rose 3 percent to just under $28 million.

“We’re very pleased with the results,” ATG co-CEO Rosemary Squire told The Stage. “We had a half year before, but this is the first combined full year of the business. EBITDA was about 3 percent up on the previous year if you look at the trading of the two groups separately and put them together. We’re pleased, given the [economic] conditions and that it’s a special year for our business as there are a lot of costs which are one-off costs to combine two big businesses.”

Live Nation sold off the theaters in an effort to generate revenues by shedding non-core assets, but the company was also trying to court the favor of UK government officials who were reviewing the company’s merger with Ticketmaster at the time.

Last Updated on August 26, 2011 by By Alfred Branch Jr.