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INDIO, CA - APRIL 17: Musician Bethany Cosentino of the band Best Coast performs during Day 3 of the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival 2011 held at the Empire Polo Club on April 17, 2011 in Indio, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Bethany Cosentino
Billionaire Philip Anschutz has put Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) up for sale, the Los Angeles-based entertainment company announced Tuesday.
"Given the success of the management team and employees in establishing AEG as one of the premier real estate development, live sports and entertainment platforms in the world, as well as the value AEG has created with the strategic assets that comprise its platform, this is an appropriate time to transition AEG to a new qualified owner," Anschutz Co. president Cannon Y. Harvey said in a statement.
"The Anschutz Company will undertake the sale to the qualified party best able to reflect the full value of AEG and fully committed to working with AEG’s management team as it pursues its long-term business objectives. With this unique international platform, the new owner of AEG will be able to capitalize on the growing global demand and value of live sports and entertainment content linked to important real estate developments on a worldwide basis," AEG said in the statement, adding that it retained Blackstone Advisory Partners, which recently managed the $2 billion sale of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Earlier today the Wall Street Journal hinted that Anschutz Co. was "considering a sale of Anschutz Entertainment Group", the hugely sucessful entertainment and sports subsidiary whose properties include Stanley Cup defending champion L.A. Kings, the L.A. Galaxy, and Staples Center among many others.
The Journal said that "deliberations remain early, and closely held Anschutz may not ultimately pursue a transaction."
A company like AEG could easily fetch several billion dollars. Indeed AEG Live, the concert promotion arm of AEG, is the second-largest U.S. promoter boasting festivals like Coachella, Stagecoach, and the New Orleans Jazz Fest.
"Our properties form a virtuous circle of AEG’s leading content, distribution, retail and service businesses, which constantly reinforces the value proposition of our platform and uniquely positions us to execute new, world-class projects that no other company can imagine or attempt," said AEG president Tim Leiweke in the company's statement.
AEG, who owns several sports arenas across the U.S., is also behind building Farmers Field, the proposed NFL football stadium in downtown L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said today that the sale wouldn't affect bringing a team to the city.
"I have worked with both Philip Anschutz and Tim Leiweke for years to bring a football team to Los Angeles. I speak to both of them on a regular basis and I have known about this potential sale for some time. I have the commitment from both of them that this sale will not affect plans for an NFL team to return to Los Angeles in the near future and will not affect my support for moving ahead with Farmers Field and the Convention Center site," Villaraigosa said in a statement he released Tuesday.
What all does AEG have their fingers in? Among other things, AEG owns or operates venues like as STAPLES Center (Los Angeles, CA), The O2 (London, UK), The Home Depot Center (Carson, CA), Best Buy Theater (Times Square, New York), Sprint Center, (Kansas City), O2 World (Berlin, Germany), Rose Garden Arena (Portland, OR), Target Center (Minneapolis, MN), Mercedes-Benz Arena (Shanghai, China), MasterCard Center (Beijing, China), O2 World Hamburg (Hamburg, Germany), Allphones Arena (Sydney, Australia) and the Ericsson Globe Arena (Stockholm, Sweden).
AEG's downtown L.A. complex, L.A. Live, is a 4 million square foot downtown Los Angeles sports, residential and entertainment district featuring Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE and Club Nokia.