ATG, Tulbart ink to purchase playhouse

LONDON — Add the Savoy Theater to the empire of U.K. playhouses owned by Ambassador Theater Group.

ATG and partner the Tulbart Group have inked a contract to purchase the venerable playhouse, situated at the side of the Savoy Hotel, from current owner West One.

The deal announced this week was for an undisclosed sum, although one London impresario not involved in the purchase pegged the sale price at £6 million ($10.5 million).

The shift in ownership shores up ATG’s London holdings at a key time for the U.K.’s second-largest theater-owning chain. ATG has recently seen the lease on two of its prime London venues, Albery and Wyndham’s, revert to Cameron Mackintosh.

Furthering the musical chairs going on in London theater ownership at present, four of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s smaller playhouses earlier this month were handed over to the new Nimax group.

The Savoy is a 1,200-seat art deco venue that for many is still associated with the heyday of Gilbert & Sullivan and Richard D’Oyly Carte more than a century ago. Its fortunes recently have been more mixed, with an ambitious repertory season of opera and a new play starring Donald Sutherland (“Enigmatic Variations”) among the box office failures.

ATG is a producing entity as well as a landlord. Its West End co-production of “Guys and Dolls,” starring Ewan McGregor and Jane Krakowski, this week announced recoupment of its $5.24 million budget.

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