US giant plans Mean Fiddler bid

The American radio and pop concert giant Clear Channel Communications is preparing a takeover bid for Mean Fiddler, the owner of the eponymous London venue and the Reading and Leeds music festivals.

Vince Power, Mean Fiddler's founder and 34.9 per cent shareholder, said yesterday he had agreed to sell his stake to Clear Channel for 60p a share, valuing the business at £37m.

Clear Channel is making the bid through Hamsard, a joint venture it formed with Denis Desmond's MCD Productions, which owns 24.3 per cent of Mean Fiddler and also owns the Brixton Academy and the V Festival.

The deal will bring together every major UK pop festival and most of the country's leading venues under common ownership. Mean Fiddler comes with a 32 per cent stake in Glastonbury as well as the Leeds and Reading festivals. It also owns the London Astoria.

Clear Channel owns the Hammersmith Apollo, the Manchester Apollo, a 50 per cent stake in the Point venue in Dublin and the Milton Keynes Bowl. It also manages the summer pop concerts in Hyde Park, which have included the Red Hot Chili Peppers, who recently played there to 255,000 people over three nights.

Mean Fiddler's part-ownership of Glastonbury has been viewed as being crucial to turning the West Country festival into Europe's most successful annual pop music event. Clear Channel refused to comment about its plans for the Mean Fiddler venues.

Although Mr Power has signed an agreement to sell his stake at 60p a share, Hamsard said a full offer was subject to due diligence and could eventually be made at a lower price than 60p. The agreement with Mr Power is subject to Hamsard making a formal offer within the next 30 days, which gives the new company time to complete due diligence and is seen as a cooling-off period for all parties concerned.

Mean Fiddler's recent corporate past has been fraught with difficulties. Last autumn Mr Power announced he was selling his stake and quitting the company only to return a few days later after a bust-up with his anointed successor, Dean James. Mr Power removed Mr James from the company and cancelled plans for a £5.6m fund-raising and an acquisition of a music download technology company.

The deal with Hamsard will boost Clear Channel's UK concert promotion and venue-ownership business. It has worked with Mean Fiddler to promote one-off concerts featuring big name US artists such as Britney Spears.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Senior SEO Executive

£24000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior SEO Executive is requi...

Recruitment Genius: Online Customer Service Administrator

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Online customer Service Admi...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Marketing Executive

£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This global, industry leading, ...

Day In a Page

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk