Dave Lucas, former president/co-CEO of Clear Channel Entertainment's music division, is forming a national live entertainment firm with an eye toward a January launch, Billboard.biz has learned exclus

Dave Lucas, former president/co-CEO of Clear Channel Entertainment's music division, is forming a national live entertainment firm with an eye toward a January launch, Billboard.biz has learned exclusively.

Lucas says the new company, operating under the banner Lucas Entertainment Group, is finalizing deals with investors.

The company will have national tour promotion, tour marketing and venue components. Among his plans is the construction of a large amphitheater in downtown Indianapolis, Lucas' home base.

"I am looking at forming a company involved in the many areas of the live music industry where I have a background of success," says Lucas. "There will be a touring division for national tours, as well as a division that will focus on festivals. We're also forming a new artist-services company focusing on tour marketing services."

Lucas' future had been uncertain in the wake of the recent CCE reorganization that saw Michael Rapino named as global president of the music division, reporting to CCE chairman/CEO Brian Becker.

"They did everything to try and keep me there, from offering me the chairmanship of the music division to other opportunities," says Lucas. "The decision for me to leave was something I agonized over for four months."

He says he does not have a non-compete agreement with CCE. "Not only am I absolutely free to compete, I believe I will work with [CCE] on different projects," he says.

Lucas says he is in meetings with four potential "very deep-pocketed" investors. Industry speculation has pointed to such mega-managers as Coran Capshaw and Howard Kaufman as potential partners; Lucas would not confirm this.

"Right now they are not partners, but I welcome listening to any potential investors," he says.

Lucas has a 33-year history in the concert business. He founded Indianapolis-based Sunshine Productions, which in 1997 became the second concert promoter acquired in industry consolidation by SFX/CCE. He was CEO of CCE for more than two years.