Edge Group branching out to U.S.


LONDON -- London-based Edge Group is looking to broaden its live music investment portfolio on the other side of the Atlantic.

The media investment and advisory firm's founder David Glick is heading to New York on Wednesday for a slate of meetings to build bridges with U.S. promoters.

"We see great potential in helping entrepreneurial U.S. businesses not only to develop in their home live music market, but also to export their expertise and ideas to Europe," Glick said.

The firm's Edge Performance Venture Capital Trust has already raised $40 million in its first two funding rounds, according to a spokesman, and expects to raise a similar figure in the next round of funding, details for which will be unveiled in October.

Glick is bullish on the VCT's potential. "We expect to have $100 million to invest in the live music and events business within 18 months," he said, "and under U.K. tax rules we can invest up to half of it outside the U.K."

Edge Group launched its VCT in early 2006 as a tax efficient investment scheme intended for individual investors, catering for levels ranging from £5,000 ($10,000) to £200,000 ($400,000) per person

The VCT's board features a host of senior British entertainment executives, including promoter Harvey Goldsmith, artist managers Frank Presland and Michael Eaton, and Sir Robin Miller, former chairman of both EMAP and HMV.

Edge investors have backed events co-promoted with such firms as SJM and AEG, featuring artists including the Good, the Bad and the Queen, the Pogues, Katherine Jenkins, James, Seal, Bryan Ferry, Elvis Costello, James Morrison and Bryn Terfel.

Glick, a veteran music industry attorney, established the Edge Group in Feb. 2004 as a "one-stop shop" advisory service for the entertainment, media, sports and fashion industries. The firm subsequently launched a corporate finance house.