It's Official! Ambassador Theatre Group Acquires The Foxwoods Theatre
As we reported yesterday, it's now official that the Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG), the UK's largest theatre owner/operator and a multi award winning theater production group, has through its subsidiary, Lyric Theatre LLC, acquired The Foxwoods Theatre from Live Nation Entertainment.
The Foxwoods Theatre, the largest theater on Broadway, is situated in a prime 42nd Street location, opened in 1997 and seats nearly 2000 people. It is home to SPIDER-MAN Turn off the Dark, the most talked about show on Broadway.
This strategic acquisition makes The Foxwoods Theatre ATG's 40th venue and comes just months after ATG announced plans to expand overseas into key international territories including North America, Australia and the Asia Pacific Region.
Berenson & Company LLC acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Ambassador Theatre Group with respect to this transaction.
Companies within the ATG Group have, for many years, been active and critically acclaimed producers on Broadway. Recent Broadway productions within the ATG Group have included The Mountaintop starring Samuel L. Jackson and Angela Bassett, Exit the King starring Geoffrey Rush and Susan Sarandon and John Doyle's award winning production of Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd. Recent Broadway credits for Sonia Friedman Productions (SFP) include The Book of Mormon, Nice Work If You Can Get It and Jerusalem.
"It is no secret that we at ATG have been looking to expand our impressive portfolio of UK theaters, by making acquisitions and alliances in strategic markets around the world," said Panter. "We have been waiting for the right opportunity and The Foxwoods Theatre is a perfect match for our ambitions. Ownership of The Foxwoods Theatre within the Group will provide a catalyst to expand in the North American market and to further build on our past production successes in North America."
Squire added, "We are incredibly excited to be operating this beautiful landmark facility, situated right at the heart of one of the world's most iconic streets for theater and we hold great esteem for Cora Cahan and The New 42nd Street, Inc. and their impressive vision to preserve and restore the historic theaters of 42nd Street. It is a great privilege for our Group to be entrusted with the guardianship of this magnificent New York Theatre. The Foxwoods Theatre management are exceptionally dedicated, passionate and diligent and we look forward to working alongside our new colleagues in North America."
Panter said: "SPIDER-MAN Turn off the Dark is a truly ground-breaking musical and is known to millions of people around the world. We're looking forward to having SPIDER-MAN and producers Michael Cohl and Jere Harris at the theatre for a very long time, thrilling audiences and often bringing them to Broadway for the very first time."
Michael Rapino, President and Chief Executive Officer of Live Nation Entertainment, said, "My team at Live Nation worked very hard to find the right buyer for The Foxwoods Theatre and we are confident that the Ambassador Theatre Group will ensure a bright future for this historic theater. We will continue to focus on delivering live music to our fans."
Erich Jungwirth, previously Vice President Theatrical for The Foxwoods is remaining with the venue as the Chief Operating Officer for Lyric Theatre, LLC.
ATG production companies and partnerships include Sonia Friedman Productions (SFP), First Family Entertainment (FFE), Jerry Mitchell Productions, Tali Pelman Productions, Jamie Lloyd Productions and Theatre Royal Brighton Productions.
Current and recent ATG co-productions include Macbeth starring James McAvoy, The Hothouse starring Simon Russell Beale and John Simm, Passion Play starring Zoë Wanamaker, Posh, Jumpy starring Tamsin Greig and Constellationsstarring Rafe Spall and Sally Hawkins (Royal Court at the Duke of York's), Dolly Parton's 9 to 5 The Musical, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Legally Blonde the Musical, Monty Python's Spamalot, The Rocky Horror Show, Goodnight Mister Tom, The Mystery of Charles Dickens, Lincoln Center's production of South Pacific starring Samantha Womack and Paulo Szot, All New People starring Zach Braff, Ghost the Musical, Matthew Bourne's Nutcracker!, Being Shakespeare starring Simon Callow, The Misanthrope starring Damian Lewis and Keira Knightley, West Side Story,Elling and Guys and Dolls starring Ewan McGregor.