Gudinski quashes “laughable” rumour of Mushroom sale to AEG
Mushroom Group CEO Michael Gudinski has officially denied rumours that he is selling his empire to the world’s second-largest promoter, AEG Presents.
“Be assured that rumours that I’m selling Mushroom Group are absolutely incorrect,” he told TMN.
“And the fact that anyone thinks I would sell Mushroom Group has me thinking I should book the rumourmongers for a Frontier Comedy tour because it’s so laughable.”
Rumours have been circulating for 12 months that AEG has wanted to expand globally and looked at a number of Australian promoters.
Earlier this week, US trade title Hits Daily Double said it heard from sources close to the negotiations, that AEG had put in a bid of US$75 million for the Mushroom Group.
Mushroom Group’s live music companies include Frontier Touring, Frontier Comedy, Good Life Presents, I OH YOU, Illusive Presents, Mushroom Events, Roundhouse and Sugar Mountain.
Frontier Touring’s performance has ranked it as Australia’s top performing Australian promoter, and also landed it in the Top 10 for the world.
AEG and Frontier have a close relationship, supplying acts for Australia and New Zealand, while AEG also has a presence running several of Australia’s biggest venues.
Even though Gudinski has ruled out any purchase of Mushroom, a deal could be in the works with Frontier to expand the pre-existing partnership.
In 2005, Gudinski sold Mushroom Records to Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, which already ran Mushroom’s distributor Festival Records.
The deal was never made public. At the time, the figure bandied about was $40 million Stuart Coupe’s Gudinski book since suggested it was closer to $70 million to $80 million.