Really Useful Group venues to stay with company

The planned sell-off of four London theaters owned by Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Group has fallen through, with a potential sale to GradeLinnit no longer moving forward.

GradeLinnit, a consortium led by former BBC and ITV chair man Michael Grade and legit agent Michael Linnit, had made an unsolicited offer in October to acquire four of the seven West End venues owned by RUG: the Palace, Her Majesty’s, the Cambridge and the New London, all classified as midsize music houses.

Details are scarce, but according to a rep for RUG, GradeLinnit balked at a long-standing pact between one of the theaters and a producer with a potential future show. “We are disappointed to have been unable to reach an agreement with GradeLinnit after its original unsolicited approach,” said RUG chair Mark Wordsworth, adding that the four theaters will now become part of a new division of RUG.

Purchase price was said to have been about £50 million ($80 million), with proceeds from the aborted sale earmarked for debt reduction as well as for maintenance and development of the Palladium and the Drury Lane, two other venues owned by RUG.

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