Molson family taking control of Spectra entertainment
Published Tuesday, December 3, 2013 2:53PM EST
Last Updated Tuesday, December 3, 2013 6:51PM EST
MONTREAL -- A new deal means the group that owns the Montreal Canadiens is taking control of a massive chunk of entertainment promotions in Montreal.
By acquiring Spectra, Groupe CH will own the concert promoters that control the Jazz Festival, Francofolies and Metropolis, as well as and musicians signed to the Spectra Music label such as Michel Rivard and Stefie Shock.
The Spectra deal has been in the works since May and is worth an estimated $35 to 50 million.
The Molson family hopes this will help bring larger, bigger acts to Montreal's Jazz Festival, specifically mentioning Eric Clapton as a musician they hope to see.
Geoff Molson said he loves what Spectra does, and that he does not plan to change much about how the business is run, because Spectra helps promote arts and promote tourism.
“Part of it is philanthropic, part of it is business. Overall it's good for Montreal, it's good for Quebec,” he said.
Molson is CEO of another entertainment promoter: Evenko, formerly the Gillett Group, which handles all events at the Bell Centre and Jean Drapeau Park, as well as co-ordinating events throughout the province, Atlantic Canada, and the eastern U.S.
Evenko sold 2.2 million concert tickets last year, including to Osheaga and Heavy MTL festivals.
Molson said he does believe the economy is slowing, which makes now a good time to make investments.
"We're moving along at our pace, and I think that we always have to be responsible," Molson said.
"We always have to take into consideration what might be going on in the economy or even in politics, and that doesn't stop our family though from investing in this city and investing in this province because we believe in it and over the long run, everything goes in waves but over the long run, it usually works out for the better."
Gazette entertainment reporter Bill Brownstein said he isn’t quite sure what to make of the deal.
“My take on this is if Molson acquires Just for Laughs and a few fringe festivals, they'll pretty much control of all culture in this city,” he said, adding, “I always get a little leery when one company owns so much and on so many different levels.”
Still, Brownstein says it could make good business sense. While the Jazz and Francofolie festivals are supposedly not for profit, they still manage to bring in cash.
“When they pre-record or record concerts and sell them to other TV stations across the world, then there is a profit there,” he said, adding that it would be no surprise if those events only sell Molson beverages.
“That's significant considering the hundreds of thousands who pile onto that site and drink beer,” he said.
Bell, the parent company of CTV, is a minority owner of Evenko.