Kingston, ON's K-Rock Centre included
Kingston, ON's K-Rock Centre included

Onex Acquires SMG Venue Management

Canada’s largest private equity firm Onex Corporation announced Monday that it has agreed to acquire SMG, a leading US venue management company with a portfolio of more than 500 arenas, stadia, theatres, amphitheatres and convention centres across North America, Europe and Asia.

No figure is attached to the deal, but Onex Corporation says the investment has been made in partnership with SMG’s existing management team, Northlane Capital Partners.

A potential purchase by Live Nation was speculated on last month – a partnership that would have expanded Live Nation’s portfolio by 200 accounts, making it the world’s largest promoter and facility management firm, in addition to the world’s biggest ticketing provider. 

Combined, LN and SMG’s venue and ticketing holdings would have dwarfed all potential competitors, which would include AEG, Spectra, OVG Facilities and VenueWorks, and potentially make it near impossible for promoters and talent managers to avoid working with Live Nation or Ticketmaster throughout most of the English-speaking world.

The Hershey Centre in Mississauga, the Rogers K-Rock Centre in Kingston, the Canalta Centre in Medicine Hat, the Enercare Centre in Toronto are among the Canadian management contracts SMG has.

Onex has more than $30 billion of assets under management, including $6.7 billion of Onex proprietary capital, in private equity and credit securities.  The company has offices in Toronto, New York, New Jersey and London.

American Capital, a Bethesda, Md.-based investment firm, acquired SMG, for a sum in the range of US$500 million ten years ago.

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