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WME investor Silver Lake buys into OVG

$39bn private-equity firm Silver Lake Partners has invested in Oak View Group, becoming a "strategic partner in the company’s next phase of growth"

By IQ on 13 Mar 2018

Lee Wittlinger, Silver Lake Partners

image © Silver Lake Partners

California-based private-equity firm Silver Lake Partners has made a’strategic investment’ in Oak View Group (OVG), the venue management, investment and development vehicle founded by Tim Leiweke and Irving Azoff.

Silver Lake – which owns a major stake in booking agency group Endeavor (WME-IMG) – has approximately US$39bn in investments across a portfolio of tech-related businesses, including Alibaba, Motorola, Dell, Symantec and Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).

“In less than three years, Oak View Group has made a significant positive impact on the sports and entertainment facilities landscape,” says CEO Leiweke. ” I am very proud of what we have accomplished in such a short time.

“This deal with Silver Lake provides us with capital to continue to grow our business as well as invaluable expertise and relationships.  I am thrilled to have them as my partner.”

OVG was founded in November 2015 by former Live Nation chairman Irving Azoff and ex-AEG CEO Tim Leiweke.

“This deal with Silver Lake provides us with capital to continue to grow our business”

It comprises six divisions: membership organisation Arena Alliance; Narrative Partners, a sponsorship/partnership operation; Prevent Advisors, its security advisory arm; OVG Consulting, whose services include venue design and seating, branding and ticketing strategy; venture-capital fund OVG Ventures; and venue-management outfit OVG Facilities, launched last October following the acquisition of Pinnacle Venue Services.

It also owns industry trade titles Venues Today and Pollstar, the latter which it bought last summer.

“Technology’s impact on the global media and entertainment sectors has created new opportunities for OVG,” says Lee Wittlinger (pictured), Silver Lake’s managing director.  “We firmly believe that OVG is positioned to become a world-class franchise in sports and live events.

“We look forward to working with Tim, Irving and their team of category experts as a strategic partner in the company’s next phase of growth.”

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, although Amplify puts the deal’s worth at $100 million.


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