The deal whereby MCD has been bought by LGN, a joint venture between Live Nation and Gaiety Investments may not have an immediate bearing on the entertainment sector here but the long-term benefits are sure to be substantial.
Live Nation already runs the 3Arena and the Bord Gais Energy Theatre here and is the world’s largest music and concert promoter with a footprint in 40 countries.
The joint venture with Gaeity Investments, itself co-owned by MCD Founder Denis Desmond and his wife Caroline Downey is the owner of Festival Republic which runs the Electric Picnic and a host of venues and festivals in the UK.
Earlier this year the company received a €11 million dividend from a stakeholding in Academy Music Group. This is an indication of the rude health of the live music scene, as well as the web of shared ownership which dominates it at the highest level.
No figure has been placed yet on the value of the sale but it effectively means that Desmond and Downey can cash in half of the value of the business while retaining fifty percent of it.
Downey is busy managing the next stage in the career of Hozier who will be releasing his new album and touring next month for the first time since his successful debut album.
MCD has had a long-standing relationship with Live Nation here in Ireland and will stage U2’s concerts in Dublin and Belfast, the biggest concerts of the autumn and winter period in November.
The size of Live Nation can be gleaned from its latest Quarterly earnings Report to the New York Stock Exchange which showed revenue for the quarter of $2.87 Billion.
It also owns Ticketmaster which continues to dominate the ticketing environment here and around the world.
Taking a major stake like this in one of Ireland’s leading entertainment businesses is a doubling down in its investment in Ireland and the future of Ireland’s entertainment sector.
That can only be a good thing, can’t it?
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