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Theatres Online / 29 Aug 18

Vanity Fair publisher acquires Stage Entertainment

European theatre group Stage Entertainment has been bought by US firm Advance Publications, the publisher of titles including the New Yorker and Vanity Fair.

Advance has acquired 100% of the shares of the theatre operator and producer from private equity firm CVC Capital Partners – which bought 60% of the shares in 2015 – and the company’s Dutch founder Joop van den Ende, who retained a 40% stake.

Stage Entertainment operates 20 theatres in Europe and is responsible for producing shows across the continent including the German productions of Mamma Mia! and Kinky Boots.

Stage Entertainment closed its UK production office in 2016, however continues to have a presence in the UK and is a co-producer of Tina: The Tina Turner Musical in the West End.

The sale has been completed for an undisclosed sum.

When CVC acquired its 60% share in 2015 the deal was reported to be worth £286 million.

Van den Ende, who will remain involved with Stage Entertainment as a special advisor, said the sale marked a major milestone in the company he founded in 1998.

“It is with great pride that we transition the business to Advance, a long-term strategic shareholder that deeply understands the creative businesses and has a long history of partnership with the world’s top writers, photographers, illustrators, designers and other creative talent,” he said.

Advance was founded in 1922 and operates within the media, communications and technology sectors globally.

Alongside its presence in magazine brands, with a portfolio that includes Conde Nast titles such as Vanity Fair, GQ, the New Yorker and Conde Nast Traveller, Advance has large stakes in the Discovery Channel and online forum Reddit.

Steven Newhouse, co-president of Advance, said: “Stage Entertainment has an outstanding track record of bringing world-class musicals to audiences worldwide. With our deep roots in creative storytelling and appetite for additional investment, we believe we are the right long-term owner for Stage Entertainment.”

Posted By: Phil Marsden

Blog Editor