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2 November 2009

Exponent Private Equity Acquires ATG for £134m

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Exponent Private Equity (“Exponent”), today announces the concurrent acquisition and merger of Ambassador Theatre Group and the UK theatre assets of Live Nation.  The merged entity is to be named ATG.

The transaction has created the largest owner and operator of theatres in the world, with 39 venues across the UK, including The Lyceum (home of Lion King), The Apollo Victoria (home of Wicked) and the Edinburgh Playhouse (the largest theatre in the UK).  ATG has the leading position in a fragmented market, with 12 venues in the West End and 27 venues regionally.  The theatre portfolio is supported by in-house ticketing and production divisions.

Under Exponent’s ownership the management team will be led by joint CEOs Howard Panter and Rosemary Squire, who were previously joint CEOs of Ambassador Theatre Group.  Former BBC Director General Greg Dyke will join the company in the new role of Executive Chairman.

Rosemary Squire, ATG’s Joint Chief Executive said:  “This is the start of a very exciting chapter for everyone at ATG and Live Nation Theatres as we move forward together, to deliver quality entertainment and outstanding customer service to our customer base across the UK.  I’d like to welcome our new work colleagues from Live Nation Theatres and wish everyone continued success for the future.”

Greg Dyke, ATG’s Executive Chairman said:  “I am delighted to be joining ATG as Executive Chairman.  I’ve known the group for many years and seen it grow from its early years in Woking to become one of the biggest theatre operators in the UK.  ATG is a great British success story and the acquisition of the Live Nation Theatres will make the Group even more successful and I’m looking forward to being part of its future.”