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MSG, Azoff Unveil New Entertainment Venture

Friday, September 27, 2013   (0 Comments)

Wall Street Journal (09/05/13) Karp, Hannah

Madison Square Garden reports that it is paying $125 million to launch a new joint entertainment venture with music mogul Irving Azoff to manage artists, own music-publishing rights, and make inroads into marketing and TV production. The deal stipulates that MSG pay the $125 million to Azoff for a 50 percent share in the new company, Azoff MSG Entertainment, as well as supply $50 million of revolving credit. Azoff promises says the new venture will operate "almost like a venture capital fund," and generate new opportunities for his business that he might not be able to exploit by himself. "You've got to reach a bit of a critical mass to be taken seriously," notes Azoff, who resigned as chairman of Live Nation Entertainment in December. The alliance will help MSG maximize its repertoire of venues, which include its namesake arena as well as New York City's Radio City Music Hall and the Beacon Theatre. The arrangement with MSG is the latest transaction in which Azoff has sold a stake in his management firm to an investor with deep pockets. MSG CEO James Dolan says he had been seeking a way to migrate from the bricks-and-mortar venue business into the entertainment content industry, and the alliance with Azoff could lead to anything from music festivals to TV shows.


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