AEG Facilities, SMG merge to form industry giant

AEG Facilities, the venue management subsidiary of sports and entertainment firm AEG, and venue management services company SMG have announced a merger agreement.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but it brings together two of the biggest players in the industry. The combination will create a new, standalone global facility management and venue services company that will operate as ASM Global. Private equity firm Onex, SMG’s parent company, and AEG’s subsidiary will each own 50% of the company following the completion of the transaction.

ASM will be headquartered in Los Angeles, with key operations based in West Conshohocken, a suburb of Philadelphia. The merger means the new company will operate more than 310 venues across five continents.

Wes Westley, CEO and president 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.”

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.

Following the completion of the transaction, which is expected later this year subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals, AEG Facilities president Bob Newman will be named president and CEO of ASM. Westley will join ASM’s board of directors, where he will actively support the merger integration.

Newman, 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 organisation that will deliver value and long-term success, as well as innovative services to our clients around the world.”

AEG Facilities’ arena portfolio includes Staples Center in Los Angeles (pictured), as well as other major US venues in the shape of Barclays Center, T-Mobile Arena, Prudential Center and American Airlines Arena. Outside of the US, the firm has partnerships with The O2 and SSE Arena in London, Mercedes-Benz Arena in Berlin and Shanghai, AccorHotels Arena in Paris, Barclaycard Arena in Hamburg and RAC Arena in Perth.

Its stadium portfolio includes Stockholm’s Friends Arena and Tele2 Arena, Dignity Health Sports Park in Los Angeles, Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum and Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane.

SMG’s stadium portfolio includes a host of the top venues in the US such as the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, NRG Stadium, Soldier Field, State Farm Stadium, TIAA Bank Field and U.S. Bank Stadium. Its arena clients include Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, along with Manchester Arena and First Direct Arena in Leeds, England.