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SMG sold to PE firm Onex Corporation

SMG, a world leader in venue operation, is to be acquired by a $5.7bn fund managed by Canadian private-equity investor Onex Corporation

By Jon Chapple on 11 Dec 2017

The Louisiana, now Mercedes-Benz, Superdome in New Orleans was SMG's first venue, Onex

The Louisiana, now Mercedes-Benz, Superdome in New Orleans was SMG's first venue


image © SMG

Leading venue management company SMG Holdings, which has been up for sale since at least November, is to be acquired by Onex Corporation in partnership with SMG’s existing management, the Toronto-based private-equity firm announced today.

The deal puts to bed rumours of Live Nation’s interest in SMG, which manages hundreds of arenas, stadia, theatres, amphitheatres and convention centres globally, including many of the UK’s leading large venues through its Manchester Arena-based European subsidiary, SMG Europe.

Terms were not disclosed, although the company says the investment will come from Onex Partners IV, a US$5.7 billion fund. The transaction is expected to close in early 2018, pending regulatory approval.

“Onex values the deep relationships our general managers have cultivated within the municipalities we serve”

SMG is currently owned by Ares Capital’s Northlane Capital Partners, which was spun out of American Capital in January.

“Onex values the deep relationships our general managers have cultivated within the municipalities we serve, and its ownership mentality and long-term focus make it an ideal partner for us,” says Wes Westley, CEO of SMG. “On behalf of the SMG management team, I look forward to working with Onex as we enter this next chapter of continued growth and success.”

“SMG is the global gold standard in venue management,” adds Amir Motamedi, managing director of Onex. “We’re excited to work with Wes, his management team and the general managers within each of SMG’s venues to continue to provide the same world class service their clients have come to expect.”

 


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