According to The Hollywood Reporter, Atairos, which is an investment fund backed by Comcast, is teaming up with NBCUniversal to buy a 30% stake in Opry Entertainment Group for a whopping $293 million.
OEG own the Grand Ole Opry, the Ryman Auditorium, Ole Red, and Circle Network, as well as the Opry’s archive.
OEG will be valued at $1.415 billion in the deal, with Atairos agreeing to invest another $30 million at a $1.5 billion valuation if certain performance goals are met.
Ryman chairman and CEO Colin Reed said in a statement that the company received the interest last year, leading it to hire bankers to look for:
“A strategic partner that shares our vision for growing OEG to a position where it can operate independently of our core hospitality business.
Atairos and NBCUniversal have a great appreciation for the legendary assets under our stewardship and we are aligned on protecting and nurturing them for future generations of music lovers to enjoy
“We view this partnership as a significant opportunity to strengthen these beloved institutions and cement their influence on American music culture.”
Leader of Atairos, and former CFO of Comcast Michael Angelakis added:
“OEG’s dynamic collection of entertainment venues, digital content and iconic country music brands provide a strong foundation for continued growth as a fully-integrated country lifestyle platform.
We are excited to partner with the RHP and OEG teams to explore new content distribution strategies and support their ambition of becoming the leading player in country lifestyle live entertainment and media content.”