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MAMA Group and HMV sign joint venture

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MAMA Group, the live music venue operator, is entering into a joint venture with music retailer HMV.

MAMA is disposing of its interests in a number of its subsidiary operating companies to a new venture, Mean Fiddler Group (MFG). The subsidiaries are responsible for the ownership and operation of 11 UK venues, including the Hammersmith Apollo, The Forum, The Edinburgh Picture House, The Borderline and The Garage.

MAMA will receive 50 per cent of the issued share capital of MFG and an initial cash consideration of £18.25m from HMV – which is being funded by a share placement worth up to 5 per cent of the chain.

Adam Driscoll and Dean James, co-chief executives of MAMA Group, released a joint statement saying: “This is a landmark deal that alters the face of the live venue business in the UK. Our venues are already key destinations for artists, promoters and fans.

“This new partnership between MAMA and HMV enables that live experience to be augmented by enabling us to offer the artist and fans a range of other opportunities to interact. We believe that linking tickets, tracks and merchandise through a direct artist-to-fan relationship is a way to help the music industry grow and prosper.

“Artists will perform at venues with a strong presence at the point of retail to help drive ticket sales and to offer incentives to their fans via HMV’s online and store channels, while fans will have more points of access to purchase tickets and the opportunity to build a closer relationship with their favourite artists.”

Under the terms of the agreement, HMV will receive naming rights in relation to certain venues so for example, the Hammersmith Apollo will become the HMV Apollo.

The venues will continue to be operated by MAMA on a day-to-day basis and it is intended that the joint venture partners will actively consider expansion where high-quality, larger venues become available.

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MAMA Group, the live music venue operator, is entering into a joint venture with music retailer HMV.
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