US tycoon puts The O2 up for sale

AMERICAN billionaire Philip Anschutz has put the entertainment group that owns The O2 and a string of US venues and sports teams up for sale.

Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) operates the music venue – the world’s most successful by ticket sales – on a long-term lease from the government. Parent company Anschutz Corporation yesterday said it was “an appropriate time” to sell AEG, which has become the world’s second-biggest live music company after Live Nation.

AEG is understood to be looking for one party to buy all of its assets, which include LA Galaxy, a stake in the LA Lakers basketball team and more than 100 entertainment venues, rather than contemplating a break-up of the business. The sale is being handled by Blackstone.

AEG has operated The O2, formerly the Millennium Dome, since 2001.