Broadway's Spider-Man theatre bought by British group

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Broadway's biggest theatre – currently home to Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark – has fallen into British hands after Ambassador Theatre Group brought its first theatre outside the UK.

The owner–operator, the largest such company in Britain with about 49,000 seats across the country, has acquired the 2,000-seat Foxwoods theatre in New York through its subsidiary Lyric Theatre LLC for an undisclosed fee, reported to be between $60m and $70m (£40m-46m). The venue was previously owned by Live National Entertainment and becomes the 40th venue in ATG's control.

The deal comes months after ATG disclosed plans to expand overseas and will in all likelihood be followed by similar acquisitions in Australia and the Asia–Pacific region.

Howard Panter and Rosemary Squire, ATG's joint CEOs, said the purchase signifies an increase in the company's activity in North America, following a successful few years of Broadway productions, including the American premiere of Katori Hall's The Mountaintop and, through its subsidiary Sonia Friedman Productions, the transfer of Jez Butterworth's Jerusalem.

Panter said the company had been "waiting for the right opportunity", and described Foxwoods as "a perfect match for our ambitions".

He continued: "Ownership of The Foxwoods theatre within the Group will provide a catalyst to expand in the North American market and to further build on our past production successes in North America."

The Spider-Man musical will continue to run at the Foxwoods, with Panter adding his hope that it would run "for a very long time". The company does have the right to change the theatre's name.

In 2009, ATG purchased all Live Nation's UK theatres, including two of the largest West End houses, the Apollo and the Lyceum theatres, for £90m. The deal was subject to an investigation by the Office of Fair Trading but ratified in February 2010.

Powered by article was written by Matt Trueman, for on Tuesday 21st May 2013 12.33 Europe/London © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010