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UK’s CMA clears SMG-AEG Facilities merger

ASM Global/Wildlife Holdings is on track to launch in October, says AEG, following a green light for the merger from the Competition and Markets Authority

By Jon Chapple on 11 Sep 2019

The future Wildlife Holdings operates the UK's largest indoor arena, Manchester Arena

SMG Europe operates the UK's largest indoor arena, Manchester Arena


The UK’s competition regulator, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), has approved the planned merger of AEG Facilities and SMG.

The CMA was one of a number of regulatory authorities investigating the merger of the venue management giants, which was announced in February. If, as expected, the authority’s counterparts across the Atlantic also clear the merger, a new joint venture, Los Angeles-headquartered ASM Global, will likely launch in October of this year, according to an AEG spokesperson.

“We are pleased that the proposed merger of AEG Facilities and SMG has received unconditional clearance from the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA),” says AEG. “The parties anticipate closing the transaction in early October.”

“We are pleased that the proposed merger of AEG Facilities and SMG has received unconditional clearance”

SMG has been contacted for comment.

The CMA launched a preliminary (‘phase-1’) investigation into the merger in April, following a partial deferment of the case to British authorities by the European Commission. Regulators at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in the US are also believed to be looking into the transaction.

Plans for the deal revealed in early February by private-equity firm Onex Corporation, which completed its acquisition of SMG Holdings in January 2018.

Onex says it and AEG Facilities will each own 50% of ASM Global (a trading name of Wildlife Holdings Inc.) – which will manage more than 300 large venues worldwide – following the merger.

 


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