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.

SMG Europe, the European subsidiary of leading venue operator SMG, runs 11 venues across the UK, including the First Direct Arena in Leeds, the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre in Scotland, and Newcastle’s Utilita Arena.

SMG Europe began using Ticketmaster as its official ticketing partner following the expiry of its contract with Eventim in 2016. The new merger brings the Live Nation-owned ticketing giant together with AEG’s own ticketing platform AXS, of which they are fierce competitors.


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