Yoo Capital Investment Management acquires London's historic Saville Theatre
Yoo Capital Investment Management (“Yoo Capital”) has acquired the former Saville Theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue. This is the second acquisition on behalf of Yoo Capital Fund II, the first in a series of funds launched in partnership between Yoo Capital and Astarte Capital Partners.
The building, now home to an Odeon cinema, celebrates its 90th birthday this year having opened its doors as a theatre in October 1931 with a production of ‘For the Love of Mike’. From the 1960s it entered a new era when The Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein leased the theatre and used it to host live performances by the Rolling Stones, Chuck Berry, The Who and Jimi Hendrix. It is also the location where the Beatles recorded “Hello Goodbye” in 1967. The Saville operated successfully as a theatre until 1970, when it was converted to an ABC cinema. The listed building is also notable for the 40m frieze designed by sculptor Gilbert Bayes that runs across its frontage and depicts ‘Drama Through the Ages.’
Yoo Capital is committed to investing in and fully retaining cultural use of the building and ensuring the future of this important part of London’s cultural heritage. Yoo Capital has particular experience with heritage buildings and revitalising cultural uses. Currently, the firm is overseeing the £1.3 billion redevelopment of the iconic 135-year old Olympia exhibition centre, which will see the venue transformed into a 14-acre district for the creative arts, exhibition and live entertainment industries. This will include a world-class theatre operated by Trafalgar Entertainment Group, a music venue operated by Anschutz Entertainment Group, and prospects for a new school for the performing arts and a jazz club, as well as eateries, hotels and office space.
SPPARC Studios has been appointed as lead architect for the project.
KLM Real Estate, Fladgate and Weil, Gotshal & Manges acted on behalf of Yoo Capital Investment Management and Hanover Green and David Seal of Lawrence Stephens Limited acted for the vendor.
John Hitchcox, Yoo Chairman, said: “The last two years have hit the arts and entertainment industries particularly hard, and we are delighted to be investing in The Saville and in the arts once again.”
Lloyd Lee, Yoo Capital Managing Partner, said: “We are excited to acquire one of London’s true hidden gems. The Saville has been a very special home of live theatre and entertainment for 90 years. On behalf of the firm and our investors, we consider ourselves privileged to be able to commit our resources to secure its long-term future. We look forward to working with existing stakeholders, the community, arts groups and the London Borough of Camden on our proposals for investment.”
Stavros Siokos, Astarte Capital Partner Co-Founder, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Yoo Capital into the important London recovery story. We believe our investor base which continues to grow recognizes and supports our investment drive to identify unique real estate opportunities in one of the world’s most important cities. ”