Industry News

Onex Corporation to acquire SMG Holdings

Private equity firm Onex Corporation has agreed a deal to acquire SMG Holdings, a company that manages a host of venues around the world.

Terms of the agreement were not disclosed, but Onex did confirm the investment will be made by its $5.7bn (€4.8bn/£4.3bn) Onex Partners IV fund.

Live Nation, which owns Ticketmaster, had previously been linked to the sale, but decided against making an offer, according to Amplify magazine.

Headquartered in suburban Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in the US, SMG manages a total of 240 venues globally, including convention centres, stadiums, arenas, theatres and performing arts centres.

SMG offers a wide range of services to each of these venues, allowing owners to outsource all facets of day-to-day operations, such as facility staffing and training, food and beverage, event booking and management, event promotion, exhibitor services, financial management and ongoing maintenance services.

The firm counts the likes of the U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in the US, as well as Manchester Arena in the UK and The Palladium in Dubai, United Arab Emirates as among its current clients.

Wes Westley, chief executive of SMG, said: “Onex values the deep relationships our general managers have cultivated within the municipalities we serve, and its ownership mentality and long-term focus make it an ideal partner for us.

“On behalf of the SMG management team, I look forward to working with Onex as we enter this next chapter of continued growth and success.”

Amir Motamedi, a managing director with Onex, added: “SMG is the global gold standard in venue management. We’re excited to work with Wes, his management team and the general managers within each of SMG’s venues to continue to provide the same world-class service their clients have come to expect.”

The transaction, which remains subject to customary conditions and regulatory approvals, is expected to go through in the early part of 2018.