Manchester Arena operator in multimillion-pound merger

Manchester Arena

The operator of Manchester Arena has agreed to a merger that will lead to the creation of one of the world’s largest entertainment businesses.

AEG Facilities, the venue management subsidiary of AEG, and arena operator SMG, have signed a definitive agreement to merge.

The merger will create a multimillion pound business that will operate as ASM Global (“ASM”).

Onex, the owners of SMG, and AEG’s subsidiary will each own 50% of the company following the completion of the transaction. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The new firm will be headquartered in Los Angeles, with key operations based in West Conshohocken – a suburb of Philadelphia.

The company will operate a portfolio of arenas, stadiums, convention centres and performing arts centres, with more than 310 venues across five continents.

Wes Westley, chief executive Officer and of SMG, said: “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.”

Bob Newman, current president of AEG Facilities and formerly a regional vice president at SMG, said, “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.

“This transaction draws upon the depth of our combined talent and resources to create an organization that will deliver value and long-term success, as well as innovative services to our clients around the world.”

Following the completion of the transaction, Bob Newman will be president and chief executive of ASM.

Dan Beckerman, president and chief executive of AEG, said: “AEG Facilities has flourished under Bob’s leadership since it was established a decade ago and this combination will position ASM for growth by joining the resources and talents of these two companies.

“ASM will offer an impressive array of capabilities that will accelerate the development and deployment of new services and bring diverse business, sports and entertainment experiences to municipalities, partners and fans around the world.”

AEG will retain ownership of its real estate holdings outside of this venture, including its entertainment districts and owned venues in Los Angeles, London, Hamburg and Berlin, as well as its extensive development, sports, music and sponsorship divisions.

Onex is contributing its entire equity investment in SMG into the merger. The transaction is expected to be completed later this year subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals.

Join us at the 2022 Rainmaker Awards