Azoff Music Management to Acquire MSG's 50 Percent Interest in Azoff MSG Entertainment

Courtesy of AMSG
Irving Azoff

New firm to be called The Azoff Company

Azoff Music Management and the Madison Square Garden Company today (Oct. 8) announced an agreement for Azoff Music Management to acquire MSG’s 50 percent interest in Azoff MSG Entertainment for $125 million. Once the transaction is complete, subject to certain closing conditions including financing, the company will be called The Azoff Company.   

The news comes as The Madison Square Garden Company prepares to separate its sports and entertainment units during the first half of 2019 by way of a tax-free spin-of to all MSG shareholders, creating two publicly traded businesses.    

As part of the Azoff agreement, the Azoff Company and MSG have also entered into multi-year consultancy agreements, under which The Azoff Company will continue to advise MSG facilities like the Forum in Inglewood and the MSG Sphere initiative to build state-of-the-art venues in Las Vegas and London.

Originally established in 2013, Azoff MSG Entertainment is a joint venture between MSG and Azoff Music Management with a buy-sell option that kicked in 2018 when the venture hit the five-year mark. The Azoff Company's assets includes Fullstop Management, performance rights organization Global Music Rights, the Oak View Group and LaneOne, a premium experience company.

In 2014, Azoff MSG Entertainment opened the Forum in Los Angeles, creating an arena-sized venue specifically dedicated to music and concerts.

"I am extremely proud that my partner, Jim Dolan, and I built an innovative company which always put the artists’ and songwriters’ interests first," said Irving Azoff, who will serve as chairman and chief executive officer forThe Azoff Company.  "The Azoff Company will build on this foundation of positive disruption and artist advocacy: we will continue to challenge antiquated parts of the entertainment business on behalf of artists and fans. The Azoff Company is proud to renew our commitment to the Forum and MSG’s transformative vision for the best possible, live entertainment experience."

"Irving has been a valued business partner and we know that he will continue to enjoy incredible success in his company and in his continued role with us. This evolution of our relationship comes at a time when we are working to align all areas of our business to support our goal -- the creation of next-generation venues that will transform the live experience," said Jim Dolan, executive chairman and chief executive officer for The Madison Square Garden Company. “We will continue to rely on Irving’s relationships and expertise to help bring that vision to reality.”

In February 2018, MSG announced its plans for MSG Sphere, state-of-the-art venues that are being built to pioneer the next generation of immersive experiences. The first MSG Sphere venue in Las Vegas, MSG Sphere at The Venetian, is expected to open during fiscal 2021, followed by a second MSG Sphere venue, to open approximately one year later in London.

J.P. Morgan served as financial advisor to MSG and Centerview Partners served as financial advisor to Azoff Music Management.


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