AEG Strengthens China Ties

After signing a deal with the NBA to operate the 18,000-capacity Wukesong basketball stadium in Beijing, AEG has reportedly partnered with Shanghai Oriental Pearl Group to lease the 18,000-capacity Shanghai Expo Performance Center.

The lease is set up for 20 years at about $73 million, plus 5 percent of the center’s annual revenue, with Shanghai Oriental Pearl taking over the lease for the following 20 years, according to Bloomberg News.

AEG’s Hong Kong unit will pay about 196 million yuan ($28.6 million) for a 49 percent stake of the venture and Oriental Pearl will pay about 400 million yuan ($58.5 million) for a 51 percent stake, according to Shanghai Daily.

Bloomberg noted the venue will open May 1, 2010, with the Shanghai Expo world’s fair.

AEG spokesman Michael Roth would neither confirm nor deny the reports.