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ATG sold to private equity firm Providence Partners

The deal will see ATG, the UK's largest theatre owner, continue its international expansion

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ATG co-founders Howard Panter and Rosemary Squire

Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG) has been bought by private equity firm Providence Equity Partners in a deal reportedly worth up to £350million.

ATG's joint CEOs and co-founders Howard Panter and Rosemary Squire will remain at the head of the organisation, while former BBC director general Greg Dyke will continue in his role as chairman.

Providence has bought a majority shareholding from current owner Exponent, which will retain a minor 18% stake. Prior to the sale, Exponent had been ATG's majority shareholder since 2009, when the company acquired Live Nation's UK theatres for £90million.

Since 1992, when Panter and Squire bought their first West End theatre the Duke of York's, ATG has grown to be the world's largest live-theatre group with a total of 40 venues in the UK and on Broadway.

New owners Providence manage funds worth $37 billion worldwide and have invested in more than 130 companies globally since launching in 1989.

Panter and Squire issued the following statement: "We're thrilled with today's announcement and very pleased to be working alongside Providence in taking ATG into the next exciting phase of its development.

"This new partnership cements the foundations for the company's planned future growth. Providence's extensive global reach and its existing investments in media, digital and live entertainment companies around the world offer an unparalleled opportunity for ATG to realise its international ambitions.

"We're also pleased to be maintaining our close working relationship with Exponent with whom we've enjoyed some real success over the past four years."