Los Angeles Business Journal

Anschutz Says AEG Is for Sale

By Jonathan Polakoff Originally published September 18, 2012 at 5:03 p.m., updated September 18, 2012 at 6:21 p.m.

L.A. sports and entertainment giant Anschutz Entertainment Group is being shopped for sale by parent Anschutz Co., the company confirmed Tuesday.

Financial services firm Blackstone Advisory Partners has been hired to assist Anschutz and AEG in the process. Blackstone managed the auction of the Los Angeles Dodgers earlier this year when the team sold to a group led by Chicago financial services firm Guggenheim Partners.

AEG’s holdings include L.A. Live and Staples Center, the L.A. Kings, the L.A. Galaxy and a large concert promotion business, AEG Live, second in size only to industry leader Live Nation Entertainment.

AEG also is seeking approval to build a downtown Los Angeles football stadium. Its overseas portfolio includes the O2 arena in London.

In a prepared statement, AEG Chief Executive Tim Leiweke touted the company as a good acquisition prospect.

“With the AEG platform, we are able to successfully undertake transformational projects that revolutionize markets by creating true entertainment destinations for consumers, while positively regenerating neighborhoods through projects such as L.A. Live in Los Angeles,” he said.

Day-to-day operations at AEG will not be affected by the sale, the statement said.

The parent company is run by Denver billionaire Phillip Anschutz and is primarily an oil and gas business, but its holdings include cinema chain Regal Entertainment Group and a national hotel operator.

Anschutz has previously considered selling parts of AEG. In 2008, Ticketmaster and Cablevision Systems Corp. were in talks to buy a minority stake in the AEG Live concert business but the sale never went through.

AEG Live was the promoter of the “This Is It” Michael Jackson comeback tour that was cancelled due to the singer’s death in 2009. AEG is now facing litigation from Jackson’s family for the company’s relationship with Dr. Conrad Murray, who was found to be responsible for the singer’s death.