Competition watchdogs approve AEG-SMG merger
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Competition watchdogs approve AEG-SMG merger

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The UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and the US Department of Justice have given the green light for the merger of venue management giant AEG Facilities and sports arena operator SMG.

Competition regulators on both sides of the Atlantic were called to examine the "mega-merger" in February, when the deal was first announced.

The merger is now set to be completed by November 2019, creating a standalone global facility management and venue services company called ASM Global. The behemoth will boast an international portfolio of more than 310 venues.

AEG Facilities is the venue management subsidiary of Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), while SMG is owned by Canadian private equity group Onex.

The newly created company will now be headquartered in Los Angeles, California, with key operations also based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It will take over AEG's and SMG's diversified portfolio of arenas, stadiums, convention centres and performing arts centres.

High profile venues to be operated by ASM Global will include the Barclays Center in New York, US; AT&T Center in San Antonio, US; Dubai Arena in the UAE; Ericsson Globe in Stockholm, Sweden and the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia.

“This merger is a major step for our industry," said Wes Westley, CEO and president of SMG.

"We plan to accelerate innovation by combining our expertise to deliver increased value and offer enhanced capabilities to municipalities and venue owners worldwide.

"At the same time, we expect that this transaction will offer employees at both our corporate headquarters and field operations tremendous new opportunities.”

Bob Newman, president of AEG Facilities, added: This exciting new company brings together the two organisations and draws upon the depth of our combined talent and resources to create an organisation that will deliver value and long-term success, as well as innovative services to our clients around the world.”

Newman will become president and CEO of ASM, while Westley will join ASM’s board of directors.

AEG will retain ownership of its real estate holdings outside of the new venture, including its entertainment districts and owned venues in Los Angeles, London, Hamburg and Berlin. It will also retain its development, sports, music and sponsorship divisions.

Onex is contributing its entire equity investment in SMG into the merger. The transaction is expected to be completed later this year subject to regulatory approvals.

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The UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and the US Department of Justice have given the green light for the merger between venue management giant AEG Facilities and sports arena operator SMG.
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