Venue operator SMG sold to private equity firm

Venue operator SMG sold to private equity firm

Toronto-based private equity firm Onex has agreed a deal to acquire venue operator SMG Holdings, in partnership with its existing management team.  

Live Nation had previously been linked with a move for SMG, which was reportedly valued at $750 million (£562m), but decided against making an offer, according to Amplify.

SMG is headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and manages nearly 240 venues globally. Its European subsidiary SMG Europe runs venues including Manchester Arena, Leeds' First Direct Arena, Odyssey Arena in Belfast and Metro Radio Arena Newcastle.

“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,” said Wes Westley, CEO of SMG. “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.”

“SMG is the global gold standard in venue management,” said Onex MD Amir Motamedi. “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.”

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