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Live Nation NZ, MHC cleared by OIO to buy Vector Arena

Live Nation NZ, MHC Investments cleared by OIO to buy Auckland's Vector Arena

By Joshua Riddiford

Aug. 31 (BusinessDesk) - Live Nation NZ and MHC Investments have been cleared by the Overseas Investment Office to acquire Auckland’s 12,000-seat Vector Arena for an undisclosed sum.

Live Nation NZ and MHC will buy all the shares of EVENZ, the owner of NZ Venue & Event Management, which in turn is the beneficiary of the QPAM trust that owns and operates Vector Arena, according to the OIO decision. Under the terms of a development agreement with Auckland Council-controlled Regional Facilities Auckland, the arena must be returned to the council after 40 years.

Live Nation NZ is indirectly 70 percent owned by New York Stock Exchange-listed Live Nation Entertainment, one of the world's largest producers of live music, with the remaining 30 percent owned by MHC, an investment vehicle of concert promoter Michael Coppel and Michelle Coppel.

Live Nation NZ's immediate 70 percent owner is Ticketmaster NZ, the ticketing and events promotion business, which recorded a decline in operating profit before tax for calendar 2014 to $1.07 million from $1.86 million a year earlier.

The purchasers argued that by owning Vector Arena they could bring previously marginal or uneconomic shows to New Zealand and create jobs.


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