UK Competition Authority nod to AEG-SMG collaboration

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AEG Facilities and SMG merger Image: AEG and SMG

The proposed mega merger between AEG Facilities and SMG has been green lighted by UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

The name of the new company will go by the name Wildlife Holdings Inc. This combination will create a new, standalone global facility management and venue services company that will operate as ASM Global.

The reins will be in the hands of AEG and SMG-owner Onex Corporation.

“The CMA has cleared the proposed acquisition of joint control over Wildlife Holdings Inc. by Anschutz Entertainment Group, Inc. and Onex Corporation. The full text of the decision will be available shortly.”

AEG will continue to hold ownership of its real estate holdings outside of this venture, which includes its entertainment districts and facilities in Los Angeles, London, Hamburg and Berlin.

The world’s leading sports and live entertainment company will also continue to enjoy ownership of its extensive development, sports, music and sponsorship divisions.

The entire equity investment in SMG has been put by Onex into the merger.

After launching a Phase 1 merger investigation in April, CMA inferred that the transaction won’t lead to substantial lessening of competition within any market or markets in the UK for goods or services.

An AEG statement reads, “We are pleased that the proposed merger of AEG Facilities and SMG has received unconditional clearance from the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). The parties anticipate closing the transaction in early October.”

Wes Westley, Chief Executive Officer and President of SMG, said, “This merger is a major step for our industry. We are excited to bring together these complementary businesses to further elevate the standard of excellence in venue management. 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, current President of AEG Facilities and formerly a Regional Vice-President at SMG, said, “It is an honor and privilege to be a part of this exciting new company, which brings together the two organizations where I have worked for the bulk of my professional career. This transaction draws upon the depth of our combined talent and resources to create an organization that will deliver value and long-term success, as well as innovative services to our clients around the world.”

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