Joint venture will be 'potent force.'

In a blockbuster deal, concerts giant Anschutz Entertainment Group has acquired a 49% minority stake in Barrie Marshall's heavyweight British concert promoter and talent agent Marshall Arts. Financial details of the deal, unveiled today (Oct. 17), were not disclosed.

Going forward, Marshall Arts will maintain operational independence in the new joint venture. AEG will place representatives -- president/CEO AEG Tim Leiweke, president & CEO AEG Live Randy Phillips and managing director of AEG Enterprise Jessica Koravos -- to the Marshall Arts board, which will continue to be chaired by its founder Marshall.

In a statement, AEG says the deal provides Marshall Arts with increased financial backing, greater access to North American markets for its tours, and access to AEG's infrastructure and resources. Likewise, London-based Marshall Arts boosts AEG's international promoting reach.

"This is a great deal for AEG that will significantly strengthen our offering in the U.K. and Europe," says Leiweke in a statement. "By combining with Marshall Arts' experience, knowledge and credibility, we now have the capability to promote and host more acts in the great venues that we own and are developing such as The O2 arena (in London) and adjacent music club that we're in the process of creating at The O2. These are great times for AEG."

Marshall also praised the new relationship. "Working with AEG means that we'll be able to broaden our horizons even further, because AEG brings to the table its own great promotion experience and a fantastic track record," he comments. "I believe that together we promise to be a potent force."

The two companies have previously worked together on large-scale tours. AEG's live entertainment division, AEG Live, promoted half the dates on Paul McCartney's 2005 and 2003 North American tours, which finished fifth and first, respectively, among all tours in those years, according to Billboard Boxscore. Marshall was McCartney's tour director on both tours; the pair have had an association dating back to 1989.

Marshall is recognized in the United Kingdom as one of the top players in the live music business. In 2000, the Music Managers' Forum saluted him at its annual British Music Roll of Honour ceremony.

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