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Watchdog clears AEG-SMG merger

25 September 2019

THE COMPETITION and Markets Authority (CMA) has cleared the proposed merger between venue management giants AEG Facilities and SMG.

Following the completion of the transaction, the Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) subsidiary and SMG will each own 50 per cent of the combined entity, which will be named ASM Global (ASM). 

“We are pleased that the proposed merger … has received unconditional clearance from the UK Competition and Markets Authority,” says AEG in a statement. “The parties anticipate closing the transaction in early October.”

ASM will bring together AEG Facilities’ managed venues such as The SSE Arena – Wembley (cap. 12,750) in London and SMG venues including First Direct Arena (13,780) in Leeds, Manchester Arena (21,000) and Newcastle’s Utilita Arena (11,000). The O2 (21,000) in London remains owned by AEG.

Together ASM will operate more than 310 venues across five continents.

“This merger is a major step for our industry,” says SMG president and CEO Wes Westley, based in Philadelphia.

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

Following the completion of the merger, Westley will join the ASM board, while AEG Facilities president Bob Newman will become president and CEO.

“It is an honor and privilege to be a part of this exciting new company, which brings together the two organisations where I have worked for the bulk of my professional career,” says Newman.

ASM will be headquartered in Los Angeles.

The transaction is expected to be completed later this year.

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