Anschutz Company to seek sale of AEG

Subsidiary includes Staples Center, Nokia Theater, Coachella fest

Putting the nation’s largest sports owner and the world’s second-largest concert promoter up on the block, the Anschutz Company announced it will entertain bids for its Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) subsidiary.

The prospective sale was announced in a press release late on Tuesday night. Blackstone Advisory Partners, which recently managed the L.A. Dodgers auction, will serve as financial advisor on the sale. In a statement, Anschutz president Cannon Y. Harvey noted that the sale would be conducted “in a manner that avoids disruption of the day-to-day operations of AEG and its constituencies.”

AEG has assets which could potentially fetch billions in a sale, including real estate holdings and its concert division AEG Live, which is second only to behemoth Live Nation Entertainment. It controls such venues as Los Angeles’ Staples Center and Nokia Theater and London’s O2 Arena, as well as pro sports teams such as NHL’s reigning champion L.A. Kings and MLS’ L.A. Galaxy. AEG recently proposed plans to build a football stadium in Downtown L.A.

AEG Live owns promoter Goldenvoice, whose annual Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival is the nation’s most lucrative annual concert event. It has also been responsible for film projects such as the Michael Jackson docu “This Is It” and “Justin Bieber: Never Say Never.”

In addition to its sports, concert and real estate holdings, AEG also maintains a merch division, AEG Merchandising, AEG Global Partnerships and ticketing and e-commerce platform AXS.com. In partnership with C3 Presents, AEG recently purchased leading independent ticketing agency Front Gate Tickets.

Anschutz, the company owned by Philip Anschutz which also controls the nation’s largest exhib, Regal Entertainment, and “Chronicles of Narnia” producers Walden Media, flirted with a partial sale of AEG before in 2008, when Ticketmaster nearly bought 49% of the company for $400 million.

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