April 04, 2007

Faegre & Benson Tops The Charts With Live Music Deal

The London office of international law firm Faegre & Benson LLP has advised Metropolis Music founder Bob Angus and Simon Moran of SJM concerts on the purchase of further shares in Academy Music Group (AMG), formerly held by RJD Private Equity and Academy’s Management, increasing their combined interest in AMG to 44%. The remaining shares in AMG have been sold to Mean Fiddler owners LN-Gaiety Holdings Limited (formerly known as Hamsard).

The total transaction values AMG at GBP £58.1 million (approx USD $114 million) including the assumption of certain bank debt and shareholders’ loans.

Metropolis Music and SJM Concerts are responsible for promoting many UK and international acts including Robbie Williams, Take That, Oasis, Coldplay, The Killers and Snow Patrol, as well as collectively owning and promoting some of the biggest outdoor music events, including the annual V Festival.

Bob Angus founded Metropolis music in 1985. Today it is recognised as one of the country’s leading independent concert promotion companies, promoting over five hundred concerts per year.
Simon Moran is the managing Director of SJM concerts, which co-promoted the largest ever outdoor event in the UK in 1996 when Oasis played Knebworth, with a record-breaking attendance of over 250,000 people.

AMG is the UK’s leading owner and operator of twelve live music venues, attracting over 3 million customers per annum. Its venue capacities range from 250 to 5,000 and include the multi-award winning Carling Academy Brixton (London), Shepherd’s Bush Empire (London) and Carling Academy Islington (London), with further outstanding concert venues in Glasgow, Newcastle, Liverpool, Birmingham, Bristol, Oxford and Brighton. AMG won The Sunday Times' Profit Track 'One To Watch' award, honoured for its profit growth and success as one of Britain's top private companies.

LN-Gaiety Holdings Limited is a joint venture between Live Nation and Gaiety Investments. Through its ownership of Mean Fiddler it operates live music venues in the UK. As a condition of its acquisition of shares in AMG, Live Nation and a related party have entered into conditional agreements for the divestment of London’s Forum and Hammersmith Apollo venues to AIM listed MAMA Group Plc.

Edward Hoare, Corporate Partner at Faegre & Benson advised Bob Angus and Simon Moran, and was assisted by Kamalprit Lally. Partner Simon Smith advised on the property aspects of the deal. Trevor Ingle & Jonathan Prosser of Hammonds advised LN-Gaiety Holdings. David Baylis of Norton Rose advised RJD Partners. As part of the deal the bank financing with Lloyds-TSB was restructured, with Michelle Tarpey of DLA Piper acting for the bank. Simon Sale of Dundas & Wilson advised the management.

Edward Hoare said:

"Bob Angus and Simon Moran are two of the most experienced and successful music promoters in the UK. This is a significant deal which will cement the future success of AMG and its rollout and development of Academy venues across the UK. We look forward to working with them and their companies again in the near future."

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