New York (July 6, 2006)–Live Nation, the largest concert producer in North America, reported yesterday it has agreed to buy HOB Entertainment Inc. The announcement came on the heels of Live Nation’s purchase a few weeks ago of a controlling interest in the touring division of Michael Cohl’s Concert Productions International (CPI) and a 50 percent interest in the Grand Entertainment division of CPI.
HOB Entertainment, which runs 10 House of Blues venues and amphitheatres, is being bought for $350 million in cash; the deal is expected to close by year’s end. Gaining mid-sized stages and amphitheatres in a number of major cities, the move was made to reportedly fill in a few gaps in the company’s line-up; HOB operates 10 venues under the House of Blues brand in cities such as Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Chicago and Orlando, and eight amphitheaters in cities including Atlanta, Toronto, San Diego and Dallas. Live Nation already owns, operates or has booking rights for 150 venues in the U.S. and abroad, and produces concerts, theatrical shows and sporting events.
If you thought you’d accidentally traveled back in time to the late Nineties, you’d be forgiven; back then, concert promotion monolith SFX was buying up local promoters across the country at an amazing rate, all of which lead to it being purchased by Clear Channel in August, 2000, via a stock swap that was estimated at $4.6 billion. Following the economic downturn in the years since, Clear Channel spun off its concert touring division as a separate entity last year, renaming it Live Nation in the process.