Private equity arm of Lloyds acquires Jazz Cafe and Barfly in Camden, the Ritz in Manchester and Lovebox festival
HMV has sold most of its remaining live music assets, including the Jazz Cafe and Barfly in Camden, the Ritz in Manchester and the Lovebox festival, for £7.3m to the private equity arm of Lloyds Banking Group.
The home entertainment retailer has sold MAMA Group, which it took over for £46m in 2010 and also runs artist management services and owns music magazine The Fly.
As part of the deal HMV has also offloaded its 50% interest in the Mean Fiddler joint venture it held with MAMA, which it struck for £18.25m in January 2009. Mean Fiddler runs 11 venues including the Edinburgh Picture House and Birmingham Institute.
The sale – backed by LDC which is owned by Lloyds Banking Group – does not include the clubs G-A-Y and Heaven, which are subject of ongoing discussions as part of a separate deal.
LDC has backed a management buy-out led by MAMA’s chief executive Dean James. MAMA, which also runs festivals including Global Gathering and Wilderness, is aiming to grow in the UK and internationally with a “buy-and-build” strategy.
“MAMA has for some time been one of the leading live music companies in the UK and with LDC we will develop our venue and festival business to consolidate our position in this market, and will look to expand into Asia and America,” said James. “Untangling ourselves from HMV has been long and difficult process but one that has been handled with extraordinary grace and patience by all involved.”
LDC has been responsible for deals including backing former BBC1 controller Lorraine Heggessey’s Boom Pictures; the £35m buyout of digital billboard company Ocean Outdoor; and backing the management buyout of eight Midlands radio licences from Global Radio, forming the company Orion Media.
HMV said it would use the proceeds of the sale to pay down debt.
In June, HMV separately sold the Hammersmith Apollo for £32m to a consortium called Stage C. Stage C is jointly owned by Ansco Music, a subsidiary of the American magnate Philip Anschutz’s Anschutz Entertainment, and a subsidiary of CTS Eventim, a ticketing services provider, of Germany.
HMV has previously told investors that its total investment in the live music division was £62.5m.
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