AEG Completes Marshall Arts Deal

Los Angeles-based AEG has unveiled its purchase of a 49 percent share in Barrie Marshall’s Marshall Arts, although the deal to take close to a half-stake in the U.K. company has been common knowledge for nearly three months.

The news first appeared in July on the Web site of Germany’s Deutsche Entertainment AG (DEAG), which had owned about half of Marshall’s London-based company since 1999.

At the time, DEAG chairman Peter Schwenkow told Pollstar that “generating cash” wasn’t the only reason his company sold, prompting speculation that he and Marshall’s close business relationship had its best days behind it.

The deal, which Pollstar reported August 7th under a “Marshall Switches DEAG For AEG” headline, looked to be the best solution for all parties.

It provided DEAG with the liquidity to pay any bondholders who decide they’d rather have cash than shares when their investments mature. It also gave AEG a stronger foothold in the U.K., reunited Marshall Arts with former director (and current AEG senior international vice president) Rob Hallett, and left the U.K. company free of its ties with Berlin.

Hallett worked at Marshall Arts for 10 years before quitting to join The Mean Fiddler Music Group in 2001, moving on to AEG at the beginning of 2005.

There’s been no word from AEG on why it’s taken more than two months to announce the deal. Its October 17th statement didn’t mention any figures, although the original posting on the DEAG Web site spoke of “a one digit million Euro amount.”

Marshall Arts will maintain operational independence in the new joint venture, although AEG president and CEO Tim Leiweke, AEG Live CEO Randy Phillips and AEG Enterprise managing director Jessica Koravos will all be joining the company’s board.

The two companies have previously worked together on large-scale tours including Paul McCartney‘s 2003 and 2005 North American tours.

Marshall Arts currently has George Michael touring European arenas.

– John Gammon