Ambassador Theatre Group Acquires The Biggest Theatre on Broadway
Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG), the UK’s largest theatre owner/operator and a multi award winning theatre production group, has through its subsidiary, Lyric Theatre LLC, acquired The Foxwoods Theatre from Live Nation Entertainment.
The Foxwoods Theatre, the largest theatre 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.
Howard Panter and Rosemary Squire, ATG’s co-CEOs, say that the deal for The Foxwoods Theatre will mark a significant increase in activity in North America.
“It is no secret that we at ATG have been looking to expand our impressive portfolio of UK theatres, 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 theatre and we hold great esteem for Cora Cahan and The New 42nd Street, Inc. and their impressive vision to preserve and restore the historic theatres 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 theatre. 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 is British theatre’s great commercial success story of the past 20 years. Co-founded by Howard Panter and Rosemary Squire in 1992, ATG is the largest owner/operator of theatres in the UK with 39 venues, an internationally recognised theatre producer with co-productions in New York, across North America, Europe, Asia and Australia and a leader in theatre ticketing services through ATG Tickets. Bucking current retail trends, ATG continues to achieve steady year-on-year growth.
ATG Production output is currently at its highest ever presenting an average of 30 productions a year, demonstrating the unique quality and range of ATG Productions in a diverse number of theatres and markets worldwide. ATG has been behind some of the most successful and innovative productions in Britain and internationally and has subsidiary offices in London, New York and Sydney.
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 Constellations starring 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.