CMA clears AEG Facilities-SMG merger

The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has cleared the proposed merger between venue management services company SMG and AEG Facilities, the venue management subsidiary of sports and entertainment giant AEG.

In a brief statement on its website yesterday (Wednesday), the CMA said that it has cleared the proposed acquisition of joint control over Wildlife Holdings Inc – the likely new name of the company that will trade as ASM Global – by AEG and Onex Corporation, SMG’s parent company.

The full text of the CMA’s decision will be made available shortly and the transaction is expected to fully close early next month.

According to Billboard magazine, the merger has also been cleared by the U.S. Department of Justice and an AEG spokesperson said the company was “pleased” that the agreement has been given the green light by the CMA. SMG has been contacted for comment.

AEG Facilities and SMG announced plans to merge in February in a deal that is set to create a standalone global facility management and venue services company. The CMA announced in April that it had launched a preliminary investigation into the proposed merger following the European Commission’s decision to partially refer the case to the UK.

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

Under the terms of the agreement, Onex and AEG Facilities will each own 50 per cent of the company once the transaction has been completed.

AEG Facilities president Bob Newman will be named president and chief executive of ASM when the merger goes through. Wes Westley, chief executive and president of SMG, will join ASM’s board of directors, where he will actively support the merger integration.

AEG Facilities operates venues such as Staples Center, Barclays Center, T-Mobile Arena, Prudential Center and American Airlines Arena. Outside of the US, its clients include The O2 and SSE Arena in London, Mercedes-Benz Arena in Berlin and Shanghai, Paris’ AccorHotels Arena, Barclaycard Arena in Hamburg and RAC Arena in Perth.

SMG’s stadium portfolio includes US venues such as Mercedes-Benz Superdome, NRG Stadium, Soldier Field, State Farm Stadium, TIAA Bank Field and U.S. Bank Stadium, while in the UK it operates a range of facilities, including Manchester Arena and Leeds’ First Direct Arena.