Saturday, December 11

Andrew Lloyd Webber pulls out of theatres sale

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s company has withdrawn from a deal to sell the Palace, Her Majesty's, the Cambridge and the New London Theatres to a consortium led by Michael Grade.

Mr Grade offered around £50m for the four theatres, but Lloyd-Webber's Really Useful Group announced yesterday that the deal had fallen through at the eleventh hour.

A statement released by RUG today says that while “both sides remain satisfied that the price was and is a fair reflection of the value of these theatres…At the eleventh hour, GradeLinnit raised issues relating to a long-standing contractual agreement between one of the theatres and a production company about a possible future production. GradeLinnit decided that they would not want to take this contract forward as owners of the theatre. The Really Useful Group has chosen to continue with the agreement and therefore the sale will not be going ahead.

Sources close to Lloyd-Webber report that he is "delighted" that the theatres are to remain under his ownership, and when the sale was agreed in October he described it as "a totally gut-wrenching decision".

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