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Cameron Mackintosh Acquires Majority Share & Expands MTI; Offices to Open in Europe, Australia and Far East

Music Theatre International (MTI) is to open a European office in London this summer, to be accompanied by new offices in Melbourne, Australia by the end of this year and eventually in the Far East. Already the largest company in its field in America, MTI is the world's leading library of musicals. Founded by the legendary composer Frank Loesser over sixty years ago, MTI represents and licenses the performance rights to the works of the majority of contemporary musical theatre writers throughout the world.

Freddie Gershon, the Chairman of MTI, invited Cameron Mackintosh to join him as an equal partner in the company twenty-five years ago. Recently Cameron acquired the majority shareholding. During this time, under Freddie's inspired leadership, the company grew from being modestly successful to its current pre-eminence. In 2007 Freddie and Cameron appointed their long-term friend and colleague Drew Cohen to become the company's new President, and now the Chief Operating Officer of the company's global activities. Their shared vision of the company's future, harnessing MTI's unique resources and stellar reputation for reaching new audiences, looks forward to developing even more groundbreaking projects in this field.

MTI's catalogue includes legendary shows ranging from Guys and Dolls, West Side Story and Fiddler on the Roof, to modern classics like Hairspray, Little Shop of Horrors and Mamma Mia! It also represents the majority of works of Stephen Sondheim (including Sweeney Todd), as well as all the stage productions of Disney Theatrical and Cameron Mackintosh (including The Lion King, Mary Poppins, Miss Saigon and LES MISERABLES). Sitting alongside these classics are many of the most exciting new talents whose works are emerging on the world's stages and who will be writing the future hits of musical theatre.

MTI provides an innovative service bringing the largest and most diverse collection of musicals to an ever expanding world market. Cameron Mackintosh's control of MTI gives the company the responsibility of ensuring the secure future of over 400 musicals, alongside servicing over 100,000 clients worldwide. This serves to realise Cameron and Freddie's desire to keep this unique collection of works out of corporate hands to serve copyright proprietors with passion and integrity as well as their heirs long into the future.

In addition, Music Theatre International pioneered the creation of the BROADWAY JUNIOR collection of musicals, abridged for young performers and licensed with director's guides that allow teachers of all skill levels to produce a show. To date, more than 5,000,000 children have performed in over 125,000 Broadway Junior productions around the world, introducing the art and joy of musical theatre to new generations of performers and theatre goers alike.

Freddie Gershon said: "The Company has always been proud of both its independence, and the dedication and reputation of its remarkably passionate team recognized throughout the world as the best in their field. I look forward to continuing to work closely with Drew as MTI spreads its wings internationally."

Drew Cohen said: "Our management team enjoys the closest of long-term relationships with the authors whose work we care for, whether they are the legends of Broadway and the West End or are just embarking on their careers in musical theatre. We work hard to nurture creators as well as the wonderful works they create."

For 35 years, MTI has enjoyed a hugely successful and happy relationship with Josef Weinberger Limited, who have represented the MTI catalogue in Europe. Sean Gray, Josef Weinberger Limited's current Managing Director will serve as the new Managing Director of MTI Europe.

Cameron Mackintosh said: "I am thrilled that the time has come for an exciting new chapter in MTI's long history and a re-organisation of its relationship with Josef Weinberger Limited. By later this year, MTI will be trading in its own name, with the two separate collaborative entities working in the same building and sharing much of the same personnel gearing up to expand over the coming years."

Sean Gray said: "We have loved working with and representing MTI for the past 35 years and are very excited to be a part of its future. We are excited to bring the musicals we represent to new parts of the world and to new generations, to find great new works for theatre companies to perform, fresh new productions of MTI's classic shows that will speak to today's and tomorrow's audiences, and to continue to promote and see the transformative and educative power of musical theatre."

Through its direct licensing activity and via its sub-agent partners, MTI already regularly licenses productions in over 50 countries around the world, and in any given hour an MTI musical is being performed somewhere around the world. With this expansion of offices, MTI is about to live up to its name and become truly international, serving its clients directly in all corners of the globe.

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