Royal Haymarket is one of the oldest in London's West End. "The United Kingdom is home to many of the world's most outstanding artists," Blavatnik said. "We are proud to be the new owners of the theater and will support its long tradition of artistic mastery."
Officially, the deal was not disclosed, but according to the British theatrical portal The Stage, was about 45 million pounds sterling ($ 59.3 million). This is a record amount for the London real estate market (if you look at investments in theater buildings) and much more than in 2014 spent on the purchase of the Victoria Palace Theater (also in the West End) theatrical producer Cameron Mackintosh. Known for the production of the musicals "Hair" and "Phantom of the Opera," Mackintosh purchased the theater building for £ 26 million ($ 41.1 million).
Blavatnik not only set a record, but significantly exceeded the initial price of the auction. When the theater, built in 1720, was put up for sale earlier this year by Louis I Michaels Ltd, the starting price was between 12-15 million pounds sterling ($ 15.8-19.7 million). This was also written by The Stage, whose editor Alistair Smith called the original price "slightly overpriced, but not heavy." The theater, which is almost 200 years old, needs repairs, Smith explained, but since the Royal Haymarket belongs to the object of architectural heritage, any changes in its ex-interior and interior can be resolved only in the most exceptional circumstances.
In addition, the repertoire of the theater is, as a rule, old classical plays that are not capable of attracting a large audience. Accordingly, Royal Haymarket is difficult to consider as a stable source of income. For example, in the 2015-2016 season, the theater was staging "Man Elephant" with Bradley Cooper, his operating profit was 431,107 pounds sterling ($ 600,000). Already in the next season, she fell to 55,967 pounds ($ 69,300). In addition, Blavatnik bought the building for 67 years - in contrast to the Macintosh, which the Victoria Palace Theater got without any restrictions.
For Blavatnik this is not the first investment in the art world. He is one of the major Broadway investors. During 2017, the billionaire invested in seven performances on Broadway, whose total fees were $ 61.4 million. Blavatnik also donated £ 260 million to the British contemporary art gallery Tate Modern, which named one of its buildings after the billionaire. Access Entertainment also owns the record company Warner Music Group, bought in 2011 for $ 3.3 billion.
Blavatnik was born in Ukraine, grew up in Moscow, and in 1978 he emigrated to the United States. Together with Viktor Vekselberg, he founded the Renova holding in 1991. Later Vekselberg and Blavatnik acquired a stake in the oil company TNK-BP. The sale in 2013 of a 12.5% stake in the oil company brought Blavatnik $ 7 billion.
Today, through the company Sual Partners, Blavatnik and Vekselberg own 26.5% of UC Rusal. In April of this year, Vekselberg and Renova were sanctioned by the US. As a US citizen, Blavatnik is obliged to terminate business relations with a partner.