Business News Deals Live Business

Koko founder back in control of the Camden venue

By | Published on Tuesday 13 December 2016


The founder of London’s Koko venue, Oliver Bengough, controls the theatre outright again, having bought out US-based Loton Group, which took a stake in the business in 2014.

Loton Group, which owns live music streaming platform LiveXLive, seemed most interested in the potential of Koko as a location to record content for the media side of its operation. Channel 4 had made programmes at the venue after Bengough reinvented the former Camden Palace as Koko in 2004.

The US firm initially implied it would take complete ownership of Koko, but subsequently announced it had bought a 50% stake and that Bengough would become CEO of its new joint venture. Though last year it then said that it intended to sell its half of the business but keep streaming rights for the venue.

Earlier this year, Loton seemingly fell out with Bengough and his Mint Group company. The latter actually ran the venue day-to-day but resigned its management services contract, with Loton saying at the time that it would “take over full financial control of Koko”.

The parent company added at the time: “We are confident that Loton’s world class management team with experience in music, media and mobile can quickly stabilise the company’s operations and build substantial value for our shareholders”.

However, behind the scenes negotiations were seemingly ongoing to return complete control of the venue to Bengough. Confirming that he had now bought his former business partners out, he told reporters: “This marks a great day for the company and for the future of Koko. The well-being and continued success of this iconic live venue is now secured”.