Three of the nation’s great regional theaters will change ownership this month, with the Ambassador Theatre Group acquiring San Francisco’s Golden Gate and Orpheum theatres and Detroit’s Fisher Theatre from The Nederlander Co.
The transaction is scheduled to close on March 29. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The acquisition was announced jointly today by Nederlander and ATG’s parent company International Entertainment Holdings Limited.
In a statement, 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.”
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The three venues represent two of the country’s top touring cities for Broadway shows. Nederlander has overseen the venues’ operations for more than 50 years. ATG also will take over Nederlander’s programming operation of the Detroit Opera House and Music Hall in Detroit.
The three theatres have housed such successful Broadway touring shows as Hello Dolly, Fiddler On The Roof, The Gay Life, No Strings, BIG, Movin’ Out, the US premiere of Love Never Dies, as well as the biggest Broadway tours such as Hamilton, Wicked, Les Miserables, West Side Story, Chicago, Rent, The Book Of Mormon, Phantom of The Opera, and many more.
“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,” said Mark Cornell, CEO of ATG. “We look forward to providing the best of Broadway’s shows to their loyal following when the theatres re-open in 2021 and are equally excited to welcome the staff of these prestigious theatres into the ATG community, where we hope that they will thrive and be happy. ATG congratulates Robert Nederlander Sr. and his management team on many decades of success.”
The Golden Gate Theatre was built in 1922 and has a venue capacity of approximately 2,300 seats, the Orpheum Theatre was built in 1926 and has a venue capacity of 2,200 seats, and the Fisher Theatre was built in 1928 and renovated into a legitimate Broadway touring house under the management of the Nederlanders in 1961. It currently has a venue capacity of approximately 2,100 seats.
The transaction was initiated by Lisbeth R. Barron, whose firm Barron International Group, LLC was the exclusive financial advisor to Nederlander. The legal advisors to Nederlander were Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher, & Flom LLP and Dykema Gossett PLLC. FTI Consulting served as ATG’s financial advisor and Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP and Foley & Lardner LLP were legal advisors to ATG.
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