Arch deal-maker and legendary artiste manager Irving Azoff appears to be constructing a new business empire.
His Azoff Music Management company is acquiring the 50 per cent stake that Madison Square Garden Company (MSGC) held in their joint venture Azoff MSG Entertainment, for $125 million – the same figure MSGC paid to enter the partnership five years ago (see Audience issue 165).
Azoff MSG will be absorbed into a new operation, The Azoff Company (TAC). It will include Azoff’s Fullstop Management, performance roylaty collector Global Music Rights and Oak View Group (see Audience issue 190), which is focused on providing services for entertainment and sports venues as well as owning US industry publications Pollstar and VenuesNow.
TAC and MSGC have also entered into a long-term consultancy agreement that will includes Azoff’s continued involvement in The Forum (cap. 17,500) and MSGC’s Sphere arena projects in Las Vegas and London.
The announcement came a few days after it emerged that MSGC is planning a potential spin-off of its sports businesses from its live entertainment businesses.
A filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission says the move, “would enable investors to more clearly evaluate each company’s assets and future potential, while providing both companies with increased strategic flexibility to pursue their own distinctive business plan and capital allocation policy.”
The live entertainment side would include Madison Square Garden (19,420 capacity), The Hulu Theatre at Madison Square Garden (5,551), Radio City Music Hall (6,013) and Beacon Theatre (2,829) – all in New York-, and The Chicago Theatre (3,604), Boston’s Wang Theatre (3,600) and The Forum.
The reorganisation is expected to be completed in the first half of 2019
Azoff, a former chairman of Live Nation Entertainment, is the long-time manager of the Eagles, among others.