AEG Live Makes Philly Move

AEG Live won tentative approval to purchase the Keswick Theatre in Glenside, Pa., for $2.8 million from what remains of Jack Utsick’s Worldwide Entertainment empire, according to a motion filed by WE receiver Michael Goldberg in a Florida court April 8th.

The motion to approve the sale will be considered in a telephonic hearing in U.S. District Court’s southern district of Florida April 17th.

AEG Live was one of 13 potential buyers to inquire about the 1,374-capacity Keswick when Goldberg put the venue up for sale in 2006. Of the 13 inquiries, nine parties agreed to sign confidentiality agreements and five returned due diligence packages.

The five final offers ranged from $1 million to $3.25 million, with the highest bid rejected "for several reasons, including a final closing date proposed by the purchaser of up to two years after an initial closing date with significant financing contingencies.

"In addition, the terms of the bid included a lease of the Keswick Theatre for the two-year period prior to the final closing," court documents said.

A spokesman for AEG Live was not immediately available for comment as Pollstar went to press.

The official buyer is listed as AEG Live PA, LLC. It’s not immediately known if that means that AEG Live will be opening an office in the greater Philadelphia market, assuming the sale is approved by the court.

Under the ownership of Worldwide Entertainment, the Keswick was previously run by Jack Utsick Presents N.E., headed up by Sid Payne and Bill Rogers. Both have made a clean break from any WE receivership entanglements.

Worldwide Entertainment, Jack Utsick and two other partners were forced into receivership as part of a 2006 settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which accused them of operating a Ponzi scheme in which early investors were allegedly paid with funds raised from newer ones.

According to court documents, the SEC accused Utsick, the partners and their companies of defrauding some 3,000 investors of more than $300 million between 1998 and 2005.