SMG and AEG Merger Completed, Creating ASM Global

Danica Tormohlen, Editor-at-large
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LOS ANGELES – AEG Facilities, the venue management subsidiary of Anschutz Entertainment Group Inc. (AEG), and SMG, a portfolio company of Onex and its affiliated funds, have officially completed their merger to create a new, standalone global facility management company that will be known as ASM Global (https://asmglobal.com). Across five continents, ASM operates more than 300 facilities, including convention and exhibition centers, arenas, stadiums, performing arts centers, theaters and other venues. The merger, announced in February, was subject to government approvals by the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.K.’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), which cleared in September.

In the U.S., ASM manages 79 convention centers, including McCormick Place in Chicago, Los Angeles Convention Center, Moscone Center in San Francisco, Miami Convention Center, and David L. Lawrence Center in Pittsburgh. Outside of the U.S., ASM manages 13 convention centers, including the Shenzhen World Exhibition and Conference Center, Moscow Convention Center, Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre, Enercare Centre in Toronto, and the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre. Prior to the merger, SMG managed 80 facilities, and AEG Facilities managed 12.

How will the merger impact trade show organizers? “For the convention and exhibition venue user, this has to be one of the most complementary transactions we could have imagined,” said Gregg Caren, Executive Vice President Sales & Business Development – Convention Centers, ASM. “Though SMG had been making great strides outside North America in places like Shenzhen, China, and Aberdeen, Scotland, the AEG Facilities portfolio truly provides a global platform for exhibition organizers that simply can’t be touched. We couldn’t be more excited about sitting across the table with organizer clients to help them easily map out a global events strategy.”

Bob Newman, former President of AEG Facilities, has been named ASM President and CEO, effective immediately. Prior to joining AEG Facilities, Newman spent more than 20 years at SMG, last serving as a regional Vice President for the company. Wes Westley, former CEO and President of SMG, will focus his efforts on key strategic growth initiatives and ensuring a seamless integration. No additional staff changes are expected, Caren said.

“This marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter in our industry and one that will establish a new standard of excellence in managing live experiences,” said Newman. “Bringing together the combined global expertise of each company with the best content and cutting-edge technologies, we will be able to realize the full potential of the world’s greatest spaces, places and events, create amazing experiences for guests, offer exciting new opportunities to employees and deliver the highest value for all stakeholders. Equally important, our deep bench of talent and shared resources will enable ASM to accelerate innovation and capitalize on the growing market opportunities.”

ASM is headquartered in Los Angeles, with key operations based in West Conshohocken, Pa., a suburb of Philadelphia. The company, which employs 61,000 people, also has corporate offices in London; Manchester, England; Brisbane, Australia; and Sao Paulo, Brazil.

The deal does not include properties and entertainment districts owned by AEG in Los Angeles, London, Hamburg and Berlin, or those under development. AEG Facilities contributed its contracts for venue development to the merger, while Onex contributed its entire equity investment in SMG to the new global entity. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed, but Onex and AEG’s subsidiary each own 50% of ASM.

Reach Gregg Caren at (610) 729-7922 or gcaren@asmglobal.com.