Midwest concert promoter acquired for $100 mil

Another week, another purchase.

SFX Entertainment agreed in principle Thursday to acquire Cellar Door Cos., a leading concert promoter in the Southeast and Midwest, for more than $100 million in cash, stock and other considerations.

The pact, which had been expected, adds to the promoters’ growing holdings, which include some of the nation’s top presenters of live entertainment and more than 45 popular venues (Daily Variety, March 19).

Cellar Door founder and chairman Jack Boyle will remain at the helm and has also been named to head SFX’s music unit.

Industry insiders note the whopping price tag is a headscratcher, as Cellar Door doesn’t outright own any real estate, but rather has varying stakes in a handful of amphitheaters in the Virginia Beach, Va., and Charlotte, N.C., areas.

The money ostensibly helped pay down debt on some of the houses.

In the past two months, SFX has plunked down nearly $400 million to acquire such companies as the Falk Group, Marquee and magician David Copperfield’s company.

The recent pacts add to the $500 million paid over the past year for several influential concert promotion firms: Pace Entertainment, Don Law Co., Avalon Attractions, Contemporary Group, Concert/Southern Promotions, and the venerable Bill Graham Presents.

The shopping spree by SFX shows no signs of abating, and SFX execs have been kicking the tires of other companies as well, including Jam Presentations.

SFX has also recently linked with several high-profile national tours, such as Rod Stewart and Janet Jackson. It is also shepherding the upcoming Menudo reunion tour, El Reencuentro.

Along with the assets it already owns — Delsener/Slater, Sunshine Promotions and a handful of related businesses — the new buys give SFX further control over the national concert promotion business.

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