Webster Hall Sells for $35M to AEG Live and Barclays Center Ownership [Updated]
Webster Hall sold out.
The Ballinger family, which owned and operated the concert hall (formerly The Ritz) for the last twenty-seven years, sold the business to a partnership consisting of AEG Live and owners of the Barclays Center (aka Brooklyn Sports Entertainment). According to the New York Post, the deal was valued at roughly $35 million.
And so goes another independent.
The two firms will take over operating rights, assets, and the long-term lease from building owner Unity Gallega; AEG/Bowery Presents will handle booking and talent buying.
There was no change in property ownership.
AEG, of course, is on a buying spree. News of the acquisition comes a mere three months after the agency purchased a 50% stake in the Bowery Presents empire.
Billboard had more on the deal yesterday:
BSE CEO Brett Yormark tells Billboard he was first approached about a Webster Hall acquisition by Mark Patricof, a managing director at investment bank Houlihan Lokey. Patricof introduced Yormark to Webster Hall’s principal owner Lon Ballinger, and eventually, AEG joined the discussions and agreed to partner 50-50 on the transaction.
“While we were having those discussions, AEG finalized the acquisition of Bowery Presents, which used to book Webster Hall,” Yormark says. Up until March 2014, Bowery had an exclusive at the venue, and Yormark said that the new agreement means the Bowery team will once more be charged with programming and marketing Webster Hall.
Here’s AEG chairman Jay Marciano’s rationale behind the purchase:
Marciano said AEG had been looking for a venue in the 1,500-capacity range and realized “it would be cost prohibitive to try and build a venue like Webster Hall from scratch.” He says, “Knowing what I know about New York real estate, I don’t think you could build it for less than $100 million. Webster Hall is a landmark, historic building whose use as a public assembly venue dates back to the 1800s. It’s a venue that any promoter would want to have in their portfolio.”