Anschutz weighs sale of concert promoter AEG -source

NEW YORK Tue Sep 18, 2012 7:35pm EDT

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Anschutz Co is considering the sale of Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), whose portfolio of assets ranges from sports teams to concert venues, according to a source familiar with the situation.

Owned by billionaire Phillip Anschutz, AEG owns a concert division called AEG Live that ranks as the nation's second-largest show promoter behind Live Nation Entertainment (LYV.N), controlling such venues as London's famous O2 arena and the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Its other assets include the Los Angeles Kings hockey team and the L.A. Galaxy soccer team.

A sale of AEG could fetch several billion dollars, the source said.

This is not the first time that Anschutz has explored a sale of some or all of AEG. In 2008, IAC's (IACI.O) Ticketmaster and Cablevision Systems Corp (CVC.N) came close to acquiring 49 percent of the AEG Live concert division for roughly $400 million. But those talks eventually flamed out and Ticketmaster went on to merge with Live Nation.

AEG Live was also the promoter behind the "This Is It" comeback tour that Michael Jackson was about to embark on before he died. It is still embroiled in a wrongful death lawsuit filed by Katherine Jackson, the singer's mother, in which she accuses the company of being responsible for medical decisions made by Jackson's doctor, Conrad Murray, that caused his death.

AEG Live last week dropped a separate lawsuit it filed seeking a $17.5 million insurance claim payment from Lloyd's of London to reimburse upfront costs they incurred to stage the "This Is It" tour.

(Reporting by Paritosh Bansal; Editing by Gary Hill)

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