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AEG and SMG merge to create new venues giant

15 February 2019

THE VENUES division of multi-faceted global giant AEG – AEG Facilities – is merging with international arena and convention centre management company SMG to create the standalone venue management behemoth ASM Global.

The deal will bring the UK’s two largest concert arenas, AEG’s The O2 (cap. 21,000) in London and SMG’s Manchester Arena (21,000), together under one roof, with ASM’s shares split 50/50 between the two companies.

No financial details of the merger have been revealed and ASM will be based in Los Angeles, where AEG is headquartered, and operating a combined 310 venues across five continents.

AEG Facilities president Bob Newman will be the new group’s chairman, with SMG president and CEO Wes Westley on the board.

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

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

Newman, who was formerly a regional vice-president at SMG, adds, “This transaction 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.”

In the UK, AEG also brings The SSE Arena, Wembley (12,500) in London, which it manages, to the deal, along with its consultancy agreement with The SSE Hydro (13,000) in Glasgow. SMG’s other venues include the First Direct Arena (13,500) in Leeds and Newcastle’s recently renamed Utilita Arena (11,000), previously known as the Metro Radio Arena.

SMG’s venues have a relatively new contract with Ticketmaster, owned by AEG rival Live Nation Entertainment, while AEG’s venues use its own AXS system.

LIVE UK was unable to obtain any further comment from AEG Facilities or SMG Europe as the magazine went to print.

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