Co-founder Peter Beckwith sells stake in Ambassador Theatre Group
Property tycoon Peter Beckwith, father of the socialite Tamara, has sold his stake in the world’s biggest live theatre company, Ambassador Theatre Group, which he co-founded more than 20 years ago.
Mr Beckwith sold his minority stake in the business to US private equity firm Providence Equity Partners as part of a deal valuing the entire company at about £250m, taking his personal profits from the business to several millions of pounds. He is now quitting.
ATG takes in 40 theatres across the UK and on Broadway and its productions include current hits like Priscilla Queen of the Desert and Monty Python’s Spamalot as well as Macbeth starring James McAvoy and The Hothouse starring Simon Russell Beale and John Simm.
But it traces its history back to the early 1990s when Mr Beckwith’s London & Edinburgh Trust redeveloped Woking town centre. He sold the shopping precinct to foreign investors but was left with the 1200 seat theatre and cultural centre. Mr Beckwith went into business with husband-and-wife team Sir Howard Panter and Rosemary Squire and the trio went on to buy other venues around the country. They particularly transformed ATG in 2009 when, in partnership with Exponent Private Equity, they bought Live Nation’s UK theatres including the Apollo Victoria and Lyceum in London, homes to Lion King and Wicked.
“I have done very well out of an accident that turned out to be immensely successful and is now growing like topsy,” Mr Beckwith said. “It has been fantastic fun, meeting wonderful people and I am sad to leave it, but I have not really got so much to offer now. The future growth lies in Australia, Hong Kong, China, where I don’t really have any business these days.”
He added: “What’s been so wonderful about the experience is that it has allowed me, a boy who didn’t even act in school, to take part in a great world I would never have known otherwise. Before we started, I could have written all I know about the theatre on the back of an envelope, really, but now I’ve met most of the leading performers and directors in the West End.”
Exponent retains a minority stake in ATG and Sir Howard and Ms Squire will continue heading the management team. Former BBC director general Greg Dyke will continue as chairman.
sportLiverpool 5 Norwich City 1: Uruguayan striker has now scored 11 league goals against the club
life + styleClarissa Baldwin is the brains behind the slogan 'A Dog is for Life not just for Christmas'
Autumn Statement 2013: Work until you’re 70 - George Osborne accused of ‘living in fantasy land’ over pension reforms
Nigella Lawson arrives for second day in court after accusing Charles Saatchi of threatening to 'destroy' her with drug claims
Is this the scariest advert ever? Japanese tyre commercial comes with its own disclaimer and health warning
Scientists sequence oldest human DNA from fossilised leg bone found in Spain
‘Put it in my mouth’: Viewers outraged by apparent reference to oral sex in VIP e-cig advert
- 1 Is this the scariest advert ever? Japanese tyre commercial comes with its own disclaimer and health warning
- 2 How black gold was hijacked: North sea oil and the betrayal of Scotland
- 3 A forgotten episode in Russian history leaves links with the Philippines
- 4 Scientists sequence oldest human DNA from fossilised leg bone found in Spain
- 5 ‘Put it in my mouth’: Viewers outraged by apparent reference to oral sex in VIP e-cig advert
iJobs Money & Business
£Negotiable: Citifocus: High calibre individual with a strong understanding o...
£50000 per annum: Morgan Hunt: Whilst the Real Estate sector was suffering thi...
£Negotiable: Citifocus: The role will suit a fund product specialist, current...
£75000 - £85000 per annum + Bonus and Benefits : Harrington Starr: An award wi...