Live Nation Purchases a Majority Stake in Groot Hospitality

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About a year after he formed his entertainment and dining group, David Grutman has sold a majority stake in Groot Hospitality to Live Nation.

In a deal sealed today, the world's leading live entertainment company acquired a 51 percent share of Groot Hospitality.

Moelis & Company LLC acted as exclusive financial adviser, and Grubman Shire Meiselas & Sacks P.C., with assistance from Berger Singerman LLP, acted as legal adviser to Groot Hospitality. The terms of the transaction are set to be released by Live Nation to its shareholders.

David Grutman remains CEO of Groot Hospitality. Chris Cuomo and Mo Garcia will continue in their executive roles as well.

The acquisition includes all of the clubs and restaurants under the Groot Hospitality umbrella, including LIV, which Grutman opened in 2009 and sealed his fate as a nightclub entrepreneur, and Story, which debuted in 2012. Groot Hospitality restaurants included in the transaction are Komodo, OTL, Swan and Bar Bevy, and the recently opened Papi Steak.

Toronto-based Planta is more of a partnership, Grutman says, and doesn't fall under the agreement.

New Times reached out to Grutman as soon as word hit and was greeted on the phone by Grutman's family cheering in the background as news traveled of the acquisition.

The restaurant and nightlife mogul says the partnership with Live Nation gives him the ammunition to expand his concepts. "It gives me extra firepower. I'll be able to grow so much quicker," Grutman says.

Indeed, with the acquisition announcement came word that Groot Hospitality is set to expand with 11 projects in Miami, Las Vegas, Dallas, and Dubai slated to open in the next 24 months. Though Grutman wouldn't give details, it's a good bet that concepts such as LIV and Komodo would thrive in cities such as Vegas and Dubai.

How will the purchase affect Grutman's thriving portfolio of restaurants and clubs in Miami? He says nothing will change. As CEO of Groot Hospitality, he will continue to focus on the Magic City. "Miami is where I live and breathe," he says.

Grutman adds the partnership with Live Nation will allow him to grow his local footprint. "Miami is such a hotbed of hospitality, and people all want a piece of it, but you have to have proof of concept in order to be successful here."

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