Just about the worst thing that could happen to the independent live music consumer has just transpired, and the entire landscape of live music, and specifically the environment for live music in Austin, TX, will forever be changed for the worse. A deal first rumored in October for Live Nation to acquire a majority 51% controlling stake in C3 Presents has gone through for an estimated $125 million.
Tuesday morning (9-25-12), Gaylord Entertainment shareholders approved a $210 million dollar deal to have Marriott International buy the company and take over management of certain Gaylord assets. As part of the SEC filing, Gaylord also revealed they plan to change the name of the company to Ryman Hospitality Properties, the “Ryman” being from The Ryman Auditorium.
Tuesday will be the first time since 1982 that The Opry will have an opportunity to be free of a larger company’s control, a company that must meet shareholder’s demands, and figure out how to fit an old, historic institution into a modern-day corporate management structure. But where is this opposition in the argument for the Opry’s fate that could very well be decided tomorrow? They seem curiously absent.
The two top shareholders in Gaylord are unhappy with the Marriott deal, with the first one having to be bought out, and the second one Gabelli Funds LLC with a 15% percent stake in Gaylord, specifically asking Gaylord to spin off its Grand Ole Opry assets for the exact reasons Saving Country Music has asserted it should.
As first theorized here in late April, Gaylord Entertainment, the parent company of the iconic Grand Ole Opry and radio station WSM, has been sold to Marriott International for $210 million. According to a press release by Gaylord about the sale, the company will retain its Grand Ole Opry holdings for now, however will be reorganizing into an REIT, or Real Estate Investment Trust.