Magicworks Entertainment Inc., the concert and theatrical producer that has brought numerous theatrical shows and big-name entertainers to Salt Lake City has agreed to be acquired by SFX Entertainment Inc. in a deal valued at $100 million.
New York-based SFX has agreed to pay $4 for each of Magicworks' outstanding shares traded on the American Stock Exchange. A group of principals who control a majority 78.5 percent of the stock have agreed to tender their shares. Any other shares will be acquired in a second-step merger at the same price. SFX is traded on NASDAQ.A Magicworks West spokesman said the company would retain its office and employees in Salt Lake City and may even keep the Magicworks name.
Steve Boulay, executive vice president of Magicworks West, said the combined strength of the two merged companies will likely mean additional shows and entertainers coming to Utah.
"This is a wonderful opportunity for Utah audiences and means we will be bringing more Broadway shows and great acts to Utah stages," said Boulay.
"Shows like Janet Jackson, which sold out the E-Center Wednesday, and ever-popular David Copperfield, as well as more touring shows like Chicago, which is coming next month, will be on Utah playbills."
Magicworks West, formerly known as Space Agency Concerts and Theatrical, has produced the Theater League of Utah subscription series and has brought numerous national touring productions to Utah since 1989.
Space Agency merged with Miami-based Magicworks in January, 1997, but retained its Utah office. Space Agency was well known for having brought such live-entertainment shows as "Les Miserables" and "Phantom of the Opera" to Salt Lake City.
Magicworks is involved in booking, producing and merchandising magician David Copperfield and shows such as"Jesus Christ Superstar," "Hello Dolly" and the concert tours of rock group Styx, Fleetwood Mac and Janet Jackson.
Magicworks is currently producing the theatrical tours of "Evita," "Cabaret," "The Gin Game," and the European tour of "The Lord of the Dance."
SFX and Magicworks have worked together in the past, co-producing the national tour of David Copperfield, "Jekyll & Hyde" and the upcoming tour of "Evita."
SFX owns and/or operates 47 show venues, the largest network in the nation of facilities that are used principally for live entertainment.
"This is a classic case in which the whole will be greater than the sum of the parts," said Magicworks chairman Joe Marsh.
Magicworks had 1997 income of $1.1 million on revenues of $292.3 million. SFX Entertainment reported a loss in the first half of $48.5 million on revenues of $63.9 million.
Shares of Magicworks rose 11 percent, or 37 1/2 cents, after the merger was announced Friday to close at $3.933/4 on the American Stock Exchange.