AEG Facilities and SMG announced on Tuesday the completion oftheir long-planned merger, forming a new standalone venue management mega-company called ASM Global. ASM’s sprawling portfolio includes 310 venues, notably the U.K.’s Manchester Arena and Chicago’s Soldier Field, as well as numerous convention centers and performing arts venues in North and South America, Asia, the Middle East and Europe.
Headquartered in Los Angeles, with key operational offices near Philadelphia, as well as in England (London and Manchester), Australia (Brisbane), and Brazil (Sao Paulo), ASM is led by former AEG Facilities president Bob Newman, who has been named president and CEO of the new company. SMG’s former chief executive Wes Westley will be working to ensure a “seamless integration” of the two properties, though his official role going forward was not defined.
First announced in February, the even-split merger of AEG Facilities, owned by Philip Anschutz’s AEG, and SMG, a portfolio company of private equity firm Onex, was previously cleared by both the U.K.’s Competition and Markets Authority and the U.S. Department of Justice.
“This marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter in our industry and one that will establish a new standard of excellence in managing live experiences,” commented Newman. “Bringing together the combined global expertise of each company with the best content and cutting-edge technologies, we will be able to realize the full potential of the world’s greatest spaces, places and events, create amazing experiences for guests, offer exciting new opportunities to employees and deliver the highest value for all stakeholders.
He added that “equally important, our deep bench of talent and shared resources will enable ASM to accelerate innovation and capitalize on the growing market opportunities.”
Westley said, “I am very proud to have had the opportunity to lead such an incredible organization as SMG. We have a long history of working closely with our public and private partners and are confident in our ability to continue to meet and exceed their expectations. ASM’s focus moving forward will be on providing added value and best-in-class services to its customers. We are well-prepared for a seamless integration process.”
As previously reported, the merger did not include properties and entertainment districts owned by AEG in Los Angeles, London, Hamburg and Berlin, or those under development.
According to the announcement, Onex, AEG and their respective affiliates are contributing their entire equity investments in SMG and AEG Facilities into the combined business and are now equal co-owners of ASM.