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MSG will fork over $125 million for half ownership of the private company (Azoff was emphatic, after departing Live Nation, about not wanting to head any more publicly traded firms) and another $50 million in credit.
SWIRV ADDS MSG
Azoff MSG Entertainment Will Merge Artist Management, Events, TV, Digital; MSG to Pump $175m Into Private Entity

Azoff MSG Entertainment is the new entity formed by super-manager Irving Azoff and Madison Square Garden Company, helmed by longtime friend and ally Jim Dolan.

Per an announcement released today, the Swirv will serve as Chairman/CEO of the company, which will house his artist-management business (including superstars The Eagles, Van Halen, Steely Dan, Christina Aguilera and more), a TV and live event division, co-owned new-media services firm Digital Brand Architects and a music pubco. He’ll also continue working as a consultant to MSG.

MSG will fork over $125 million for half ownership of the private company (Azoff was emphatic, after departing Live Nation, about not wanting to head any more publicly traded firms) and another $50 million in credit.

"You've got to reach a bit of a critical mass to be taken seriously," Azoff told The Wall Street Journal’s Hannah Karp, who pointed out that deal with MSG was just the most recent of several occasions on which Azoff has sold a stake in his management company to a deep-pocketed backer, starting with MCA in the 1980s.

Azoff and Dolan, who appeared together recently to unveil the refurbished Los Angeles Forum, have left the contours of the company somewhat open for the time being, though it was made clear that digital will play a substantial role.

In a novel wrinkle, Azoff MSG will also offer an up-to-date alternative to ASCAP and BMI, Karp reported. "We believe rights holders need to be represented a different way," Azoff told the reporter. He further explained that the new company would function "almost like a venture-capital fund," and create new opportunities for his business that he might not be able to see on his own.

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