Private Equity Firm Onex Buys Venue Management Firm SMG

December 11, 2017

Private equity firm Onex Corporation has agreed to acquire SMG Holdings Inc., in partnership with its existing management team.

“SMG is the global gold standard in venue management,” said Amir Motamedi, a managing director with Onex. “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.”

SMG is the leading global manager of convention centers, stadiums, arenas, theatres, performing arts centers and other venues.

The transaction is expected to close in early 2018 subject to customary conditions and regulatory approvals.

The terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Onex also owns Emerald Expositions.

“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.

He added, “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.”

Founded 40 years ago, SMG is headquartered in suburban Philadelphia, Penn., and manages nearly 240 venues globally.

The company offers a comprehensive suite of services, allowing venue owners to outsource all facets of day-to-day operations, including facility staffing and training, food and beverage, event booking and management, event promotion, exhibitor services, financial management and ongoing maintenance services.

SMG manages venues such as Chicago’s McCormick Place and Detroit’s COBO Center.

The investment will be made by Onex Partners IV, Onex’ $5.7 billion fund.

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