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Azoff buys out MSG stake in joint venture

Azoff buys out MSG stake in joint venture
Irving Azoff speaks in 2015. (Lester Cohen / Getty Images for City of Hope)

Irving Azoff’s music management company will spend $125 million to buy out Madison Square Garden Co.’s 50% stake in a joint venture the two firms set up in 2013.

The joint venture, Azoff MSG Entertainment, manages the careers of artists and talent. At the time the venture began, it represented singers like Christina Aguilera and invested in divisions that delved into areas like music publishing. Azoff and his team also helped with the massive, multimillion-dollar renovation of the Forum, the famed arena in Inglewood.

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Azoff said in a news release that his company “will build on this foundation of positive disruption and artist advocacy” and “continue to challenge antiquated parts of the entertainment business.”

The joint venture will be renamed Azoff Co. and will be based in Los Angeles. The firm will continue to consult on Madison Square Garden’s Forum and new MSG Sphere venues in locations including Las Vegas and London.

“This evolution of our relationship comes at a time when we are working to align all areas of our business to support our goal — the creation of next-generation venues that will transform the live experience,” Madison Square Garden Chief Executive James Dolan said in a statement. “We will continue to rely on Irving’s relationships and expertise to help bring that vision to reality.”

Madison Square Garden stock declined about 3% on Monday, closing at $290.90 a share.

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