MAMA Group On The Bloc?

 The investment arm of Lloyds Banking Group could again be busy in the market by offloading MAMA Group, according to Music Business Worldwide.

Having just shelled out more than £300 million for Birmingham’s NEC Group, the business mag reckons Lloyds Development Capital has already received a couple of offers for the company that it’s owned for barely a couple of years.

It bought MAMA Group from a beleaguered HMV in December 2012, paying £7.3 million and making MAMA one of the most recently traded companies in the business.

Having traded its way up by buying some former Mean Fiddler-owned venues from LN-Gaiety, the Live Nation and MCD Productions-owned company that had just bought the entire MF Group, MAMA was reckoned to have a market value of more than £20 million at the end of 2007.

A couple of years later MAMA must have been worth a lot more, as HMV paid more than £18 million for just a half-share of MAMA’s old Mean Fiddler venues.

In 2010 HMV bought the rest of the MAMA Group, paying £46 million, but the high street retailer had to let go when its own finances began to flounder.

It had already clawed back some of its layout by selling London’s Hammersmith Apollo to a partnership between AEG and German ticket giant CTS Eventim.

It was then that Lloyds stepped in, backing chief exec and MAMA Group co-founder Dean James in a management buyout deal that valued the rest of MAMA at less than £7.5 million.

By the end of summer 2013, James had gone, with LDC chairman Richard Thompson seemingly left in charge. Last October James was back in business, this time working with former Shazam exec Matt McCann and with the backing of a huge Indian business.

James and McCann’s new company, which is called Sixth Plc., says it’s going to be the “the Live Nation for the mid-market.” It said it’s looking to acquire mid-level promoters, management companies, venues and festivals, which has caused a ripple of speculation that Sixth Plc. could be behind one of the offers for MAMA.