Mean Fiddler Music Group has agreed to sell its brand and a raft of London venues to the British media and marketing firm MAMA Group plc in a deal worth £6 million ($12 million) in cash.

U.K. live music venue owner and concerts promoter MFMG said today it will hand over its Mean Fiddler name and Mean Fiddler Holdings - which gathers a portfolio of London clubs - to London-based MAMA.

MFH owns the Jazz Cafe, the Borderline, the Garage and the former Mean Fiddler live music venues, and 75% of the shares in Manto Soho Limited, the company which operates the "G-A-Y" bar and "G-A-Y Late" club in London's West End.

In addition, MFH holds various other assets including the "meanfiddler.com" Web site, and the leasehold offices currently occupied by MFH and MFG.

With immediate effect, the former MFMG has been renamed Festival Republic.

In a statement issued today, Festival Republic said the sale will allow it to refocus resources on driving its existing collection of festivals plus the two "venue jewels" in the London Astoria and the Astoria2, which are not part of the transaction.

Festival Republic's main festivals include the Carling Weekend Reading and Leeds, Latitude and Rise, and an involvement in the Glastonbury Festival.

MAMA had earlier tabled a bid to buy the MFH venues. "In essence the deal is the same, but this acquisition structure is simpler and quicker than the proposed exercise of our options over the businesses and assets," comment MAMA co-chief executives Adam Driscoll and Dean James in a statement.

"This will enable us to immediately progress the integration of those businesses into our Live Music division, and enables all concerned to avoid the period of uncertainty which would have existed for the customers, suppliers and employees of those businesses while the various conditions were fulfilled."

Under the terms of the new deal, Festival Republic will continue to be allowed to license the "Mean Fiddler" brand with outdoor music festivals holding 10,000-plus capacities.

Launched in 2002, MAMA is quoted on the Alternative Investment Market segment of the stock exchange with a reported market capitalization of about £16 million ($29.6 million). Its Channelfly subsidiary includes a chain of U.K. live music venues, plus interests in music recording and publishing, and artist management.

MAMA, meanwhile, has been in an acquisitive mood. Last year, the group entered a proposal to buy British independent music firm Sanctuary Group, but withdrew before year's end.

In March this year, MAMA reached an agreement to buy Mean Fiddler's London Forum venue for £1 million ($1.9 million).

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