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West End giant ATG to acquire three US theatres

West End theatre giant Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG) has entered into a major deal with US theatre operator Nederlander to acquire three large-scale venues in San Francisco and Detroit.

The UK-based company, which owns and operates the Piccadilly and Apollo theatres, has penned an agreement to buy the Golden Gate Theatre and Orpheum Theatre (pictured) in San Francisco, and the Fisher Theatre in Detroit.

San Francisco and Detroit are key touring markets for Broadway and West End productions.

The pending deal, which has been put forward by ATG’s parent company International Entertainment Holdings Limited, also includes the programming operations of the historic Detroit Opera House and arts venue Music Hall. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The move is part of ongoing plans to “expand ATG’s presence in the United States”, according to Andrew Tisdale, senior managing director of private equity firm Providence, ATG’s majority shareholder.

ATG chief executive Mark Cornell said: “This extraordinary portfolio of venues located in San Francisco and Detroit, two of America’s key theatrical touring cities, is comprised of precious assets and we are delighted to be taking over their stewardship,” he said. “We look forward to providing the best of Broadway’s shows to their loyal following when the theatres re-open in 2021.”

The takeover would end Nederlander’s decades-long control of the San Francisco and Detroit theatres.

Robert Nederlander Sr said: “These unique venues have been home to Broadway’s greatest shows, serving local and regional audiences for generations. We are confident that the ATG team will continue to look after the strong foundation that we have created with these theatres in their respective communities and to take them into this next decade with great success.”

The move comes just months after ATG’s shareholders sold a small stake to TEG, the Australian live entertainment and ticketing business.

Image: Colin Knowles / CC BY-SA 2.0 / Edited for size