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Legends in talks over $1.85bn package for potential ASM Global takeover

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Ares Management and KKR & Co are among a group of private credit firms that have held talks with Legends over providing a $1.85bn (£1.48bn/€1.72bn) financing package to support the company’s potential acquisition of ASM Global, according to Bloomberg.

The group, which also includes Apollo Global Management and Oaktree Capital Management, would help to fund the takeover and refinance existing debt at both Legends and ASM, the report added.

Ares is reportedly acting as the administrative agent on the proposed transaction.

Of the proposed $1.85bn, $1.55bn would be set aside for a so-called ‘unitranche loan’, which combines different types of secured and unsecured debt in a single loan that has a blended interest rate and a predictable repayment schedule. This type of loan is typically used in acquisitions to maximise flexibility.

Of the remaining $300m, $200m would be a revolving facility and $100m would be a delayed-draw loan that would allow the borrower to request additional funds, adding further flexibility to the transaction.

News of a possible deal to create the world’s largest third-party sports and entertainment facility manager first emerged in July when it was reported that private equity firm Onex Corp, which owns 50% of ASM Global, had asked Goldman Sachs to oversee a formal sales process.

ASM Global runs around 350 arenas, stadiums and convention centres worldwide, including a dozen NFL American football and NBA basketball venues, some of which are booking deals and other service agreements. AEG Facilities owns the remaining 50% of ASM Global after it merged with the old SMG to form a standalone company in 2019.

Legends offers planning, sales, partnerships, hospitality, merchandise and technology solutions. The merger would effectively add facility operations as the final piece of Legends’ 360-degree business model.

Legends president and chief executive Shervin Mirhashemi was once president of AEG Global Partnerships during a 12-year spell with AEG before he departed for Legends in 2013.

Legends is currently leading planning, project management, hospitality, sales and partnerships for the new $1.4bn (£1.1bn/€1.3bn) Buffalo Bills stadium. ASM Global’s portfolio includes Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas (pictured), Friends Arena in Stockholm and Kai Tak Sports Park in Hong Kong.

Image: Tomás Del Coro / CC BY-SA 2.0 / Edited for size

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