Silver Lake investment to boost Oak View Group growth plans

US entertainment and sports facilities company Oak View Group (OVG) is targeting global expansion after receiving substantial investment from private equity firm Silver Lake.

Terms of the strategic investment were not disclosed, but the Wall Street Journal newspaper said Silver Lake is offering more than $100m (£72m/€81m) in exchange for an undisclosed equity stake in the company. Additional investment could reportedly follow.

OVG said the investment will support the Los Angeles-headquartered company’s growth strategy, including its arena development projects and other strategic initiatives.

OVG has been in the news recently after it was awarded the right to redevelop KeyArena in Seattle with partners billionaire David Bonderman and film producer Jerry Bruckheimer. OVG is seeking to attract an NHL ice hockey expansion franchise to the US city.

OVG also last year partnered with New York Mets chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon and NHL team the New York Islanders to form a group that was awarded the right to build a new arena for the Islanders adjacent to the Belmont Racetrack in New York.

Additionally, OVG has recently entered the facilities management business through its acquisition of Pinnacle Facility Management.

OVG chief executive Tim Leiweke said: “In less than three years, Oak View Group has made a significant positive impact on the sports and entertainment facilities landscape.  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.”

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

OVG currently has more than 200 employees across offices in Los Angeles, Seattle and New York City. OVG’s business divisions include OVG Business Development, OVG Global Partnerships, OVG Media and Conferences, OVG Facilities, Prevent Advisors and the Arena and Stadium Alliance, a select group of top US venues.

Leiweke told the Wall Street Journal that OVG remains “laser focused” on North America but will expand into Europe and Asia this year.

“It’s no question we’re going through a massive growth spurt,” Leiweke said, adding that OVG anticipates signing six to eight more venue deals this year. “There’s this need and desire of people to spend discretionary dollars to come together at live events.”

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