Irish music tycoons duet at Mean Fiddler

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Denis Desmond, the Irish impresario whose interests in the music industry include the Shepherds Bush Empire and Brixton Academy gig venues and the V Festival, is taking a 16 per cent stake in, and joining the board, of Mean Fiddler.

Mr Desmond's MCD Production empire has acquired the stake for £4.6m from Mean Fiddler's chairman, Vince Power, at a price per share more than 50 per cent higher than the closing price on Friday.

The deal brings together two of Ireland's most high profile entertainment industry businessmen. Mr Power's stake in Mean Fiddler - which is involved in the Reading, Leeds and Glastonbury festivals - falls to 35 per cent.

Mr Power said yesterday that he had thought "long and hard" before agreeing to give up his controlling stake. "I've known Denis for over 20 years and have always respected him as a competitor," he said. "Together we can work to deliver value to Mean Fiddler shareholders through increased bargaining power with both artists and suppliers."

Mean Fiddler's shares have doubled this year thanks to strong festival attendances and the success of its music tour organisation business, which most recently has brought the US superstar Justin Timberlake to the UK.

Mr Desmond said he would be a "committed long-term investor" at Mean Fiddler.