House of Blues Entertainment may be selling its concert subsidiary, HOB Concerts. According to a statement released by the company today (Dec. 20), HOB has retained global financial services firm UBS
House of Blues Entertainment may be selling its concert subsidiary, HOB Concerts. According to a statement released by the company today (Dec. 20), HOB has retained global financial services firm UBS to evaluate a potential sale.
HOB Entertainment was on sale for most of 2001 before being unofficially taken off the block in the fall of 2002. Among those making a run at HOB were Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), Clear Channel Entertainment.
Greg Trojan, CEO of HOB Entertainment, says in a statement: "People interested in buying the Concerts company have recently approached HOB, and it is appropriate that we evaluate all opportunities to accelerate our growth following our recent refinancing."
News of this potential sale comes just months after HOB Entertainment completed a $110 million recapitalization plan in March. At the time, it announced that Ares Management had invested $30 million in the company and that longtime HOB backer JP Morgan Partners had made additional investments.
HOB opened a new club in Cleveland last month and a ninth club is expected to open in San Diego this spring. Additionally, three more clubs are expected next year.
Trojan also said, "Our recapitalization transaction and the strength of the HOB brand have surfaced many exciting growth opportunities for us. We have confidence in the long-term growth prospects of the concert industry, but we need to explore all possibilities that will allow us to continue to grow our business successfully and at an even faster pace."
HOB Entertainment acquired its concerts company in 1999 from Seagram Co. It was previously known as Universal Concerts.
Jack Gannon, senior VP of marketing for HOB Entertainment, tells Billboard.biz that the names of potential buyers cannot be disclosed.
In May, Trojan told Billboard about the market for HOB Concerts.
"Given the dismal state of affairs of the capital markets, my mission was to leave no stone unturned in looking at and evaluating those alternatives. We were approached by several different parties that had an interest in a number of different kinds of transactions. And the board and I decided that [none] were as attractive as continuing to go it alone and grow our business, albeit at a slower rate than we would like, given access to capital.
"But I can tell you with certainty that we made the right choice," he continued. "We were able to weather the storm of a rocky economy and grow the operating income of our business in every single year."