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Webber’s RUG to sell off four theaters

Mid-size musical venues to go to GradeLinnit

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Group has sealed a pact to sell four of the company’s seven London theaters.

Deal, on track to close in January, will see a quartet of mid-size music houses — the Palace, the Cambridge, the New London and Her Majesty’s theaters — acquired by GradeLinnit, a consortium led by former BBC and ITV chair Michael Grade and legit agent Michael Linnit.

Purchase price is reportedly in the range of £50 million ($78.8 million), with Webber saying in a statement that $7.9 million was knocked off the purchase price so that GradeLinnit could invest the coin in maintenance of the venues.

RUG’s larger-scale tuner houses — the Palladium, the Theater Royal Drury Lane and a 50% interest in the Adelphi — remain in the company’s hands.

In 2005, RUG sold off four of its play houses to Nimax Theaters.

Proceeds of the upcoming sale will go toward reducing RUG debt as well as toward maintenance and development costs of the Palladium and the Drury Lane.

Upcoming stage projects for Webber including “The Wizard of Oz,” for which he’ll contribute original tunes, and the international rollout of “The Phantom of the Opera” sequel “Love Never Dies.”

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