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ASM Global: SMG and AEG Facilities to merge

In a "major step" for the live music industry, the leading arena operators are to form one company, jointly owned by SMG's parent, Onex, and AEG

By IQ on 07 Feb 2019

AEG Facilities' the SSE Arena, Wembley

AEG Facilities' the SSE Arena, Wembley

image © AEG Facilities

AEG Facilities and SMG, which between them operate and run many of the world’s most important large entertainment venues, have announced their intention to merge, forming a new company called ASM Global.

The merger, announced today by private-equity firm Onex – since December the owner of SMG – will create a venue management colossus spanning five continents, with a portfolio of 310 arenas, stadia, convention centres and performing arts venues.

Onex and AEG Facilities will each own 50% of ASM Global following the merger, expected to be completed in late 2019.

AEG Facilities-run venues include the SSE Arena, Wembley, and the O2 in London (the latter of which is the world’s busiest arena); AccorHotels Arena in Paris, Mercedes-Benz Arena in Berlin; Barclays Center in New York; and Staples Center in Los Angeles. However, venues owned by AEG – such as the O2, AccorHotels Arena, Mercedes-Benz Arena and Staples Center – are excluded from the deal, with AEG retaining control of its owned venues and entertainment districts in Los Angeles, London, Hamburg and Berlin, as well as its sports, music and sponsorship divisions. Onex is contributing its entire equity investment in SMG into the merger, which remains subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals.

SMG, and its European subsidiary, SMG Europe, run Manchester Arena in the UK; König-Pilsener Arena in Oberhausen, Germany; and arenas, stadia and convention centres across North America.

“This merger is a major step for our industry. We are excited to bring together these complementary businesses”

The new company will be based in LA, with a secondary presence in SMG’s home city, West Conschohocken, Pennsylvania.

Wes Westley, president and CEO of SMG, comments: “This merger is a major step for our industry. We are excited to bring together these complementary businesses to further elevate the standard of excellence in venue management. We plan to accelerate innovation by combining our expertise to deliver increased value and offer enhanced capabilities to municipalities and venue owners worldwide.

“At the same time, we expect that this transaction will offer employees at both our corporate headquarters and field operations tremendous new opportunities.”

“It is an honour and privilege to be a part of this exciting new company, which brings together the two organisations where I have worked for the bulk of my professional career,” adds AEG Facilities president Bob Newman, who becomes president and CEO of ASM. “This transaction draws upon the depth of our combined talent and resources to create an organisation that will deliver value and long-term success, as well as innovative services to our clients around the world.”

AEG competitor Live Nation was believed to be in the running to buy SMG before it was acquired by Onex.


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