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ASM Global to operate new £260m venue complex

ASM Global will be the venue management provider for a new £260 million arena, conference and exhibition centre on Gateshead Quays in Newcastle, as the operator further expands its UK footprint.

ASM Global, the result of a merger between SMG Facilities and AEG Facilities today  (11 October) cleared by the UK’s Competitions and Markets Authority, has signed a long-term agreement with developer Ask Real Estate and investor Patrizia to operate the 12,500-capacity venue.

It is estimated that the ten-acre Gateshead complex, due to open by 2023, will generate £30m for the economy and attract up to 300,000 new visitors to the region each year. Global architecture firm Hok has been appointed to design to new arena.

“We are thrilled to have selected ASM Global as our operator,” comments Ask Real Estate MD John Hughes.

“ASM Global have a global reputation for excellence and their experience will be key in helping us to develop what will be one of Europe’s key cultural locations”

“They have a global reputation for excellence and their experience will be key in helping us to develop what will be one of Europe’s key cultural locations. We have been working closely with them to ensure the arena will be able to accommodate the rapid advances in sound and production technology.”

ASM Global’s executive vice president for Europe, John Sharkey, says the operator is “delighted to bring to market such an ambitious development”.

“We look forward to building upon the success of the Utilita Arena (11,400-cap.) and Whitley Bay Playhouse (630-cap.), and leveraging our regional strength to further develop the events landscape and grow the north east economy,” says Sharkey.

In addition to its venues in the north east of England, ASM Global’s UK portfolio includes the O2 Arena (20,000-cap.), the SSE Arena, Wembley (12,500-cap.), Manchester Arena (21,000-cap.), the First Direct Arena in Leeds (13,700-cap.), Glasgow’s SSE Hydro Arena (13,000-cap.) and the York Barbican (1,900-cap.).

 


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AEG Facilities, SMG merge: ASM Global is born

AEG’s venue management arm, AEG Facilities, and Onex-owned SMG announced today (1 October) that they have completed their merger to create a single global facility management and venue services company, ASM Global.

The companies, which between them operate and run many of the world’s most important large entertainment venues, first announced their intention to merge in February. The completion of the merger comes following the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority approval of the deal in September.

ASM, headquartered in Los Angeles, has key operations based in West Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, as well as offices in London and Manchester, England; Brisbane, Australia; and Sao Paulo, Brazil.

ASM’s portfolio includes Sydney ANZ Stadium, the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, Dubai’s Coca-Cola Arena, Manchester Arena and Lausanne’s Vaudoise Arena, as well as convention and exhibition centres, performing arts centres and theatres. Overall, the company will operate more than 300 facilities across five continents.

Some AEG-owned venues, including the O2 Arena in London and the AccorHotel Arena in Paris, remain under AEG control do not currently feature in the ASM portfolio online. The Mercedes-Benz Arena in Berlin and Los Angeles’ Staples Center, which were previously thought to be excluded from the deal, are included in ASM’s portfolio.

Bob Newman, former president of AEG Facilities, has been named president and CEO of ASM, effective immediately. Prior to joining AEG Facilities, Newman spent more than 20 years at SMG, last serving as a regional vice president for the company. Wes Westley, former CEO and president of SMG, will focus on strategic growth initiatives and facilitating the integration process.

“This marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter in our industry and one that will establish a new standard of excellence in managing live experiences”

“This marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter in our industry and one that will establish a new standard of excellence in managing live experiences,” comments Newman.

“Bringing together the combined global expertise of each company with the best content and cutting-edge technologies, we will be able to realise the full potential of the world’s greatest spaces, places and events, create amazing experiences for guests, offer exciting new opportunities to employees and deliver the highest value for all stakeholders. Equally important, our deep bench of talent and shared resources will enable ASM to accelerate innovation and capitalise on the growing market opportunities.”

Westley adds: “I am very proud to have had the opportunity to lead such an incredible organisation as SMG. We have a long history of working closely with our public and private partners and are confident in our ability to continue to meet and exceed their expectations.

“ASM’s focus moving forward will be on providing added value and best-in-class services to its customers.”

Onex, AEG and their respective affiliates are contributing their entire equity investments in SMG and AEG Facilities, respectively, and are now equal co-owners of ASM.

 


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SMG sold to PE firm Onex Corporation

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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