In a move that would make its already enormous market share in live events even more dominant, Live Nation is reported to be among the bidders for venue management giant SMG, according to multiple outlets.
SMG, which has the world’s largest venue portfolio – some 500 arenas, stadia, theatres, amphitheatres and convention centers across North America, Europe and Asia, according to IQ-Mag.net – was put on the market by its current owner Northlane Capital Partners, expected to fetch somewhere in the neighborhood of $750 million.
According to Sports Business Daily, the addition of SMG’s venue portfolio would grow Live Nation by some 200 accounts and make it the world’s biggest promoter and facility management firm, in addition to the world’s biggest ticketing provider. SMG’s website lists it as operating 239 facilities in eight countries, serving some 65 million guests per year. Combined, LN and SMG’s venue and ticketing holdings would dwarf all potential competitors, which would include AEG, Spectra, OVG Facilities and VenueWorks. It would presumably make it all but impossible for promoters and talent managers to avoid working with Live Nation or Ticketmaster throughout most of the English-speaking world, as a large chunk of SMG’s portfolio is overseas.
“This included 16 theaters on the Top 100 Theaters as well one amphitheater, the iconic Greek Theatre in Los Angeles that ranked in the Top 50 Amphitheaters. Manchester Arena was SMG’s highest ranked arena it manages and third in the world with more than 622,000 tickets sold. The Coliseo de Puerto Rico, which ranked 31st in the world with more than 243,000 tickets sold, was its highest managed arena N. America. DeVos Performance Hall in Grand Rapids, Michigan with 102,000 attendees was No.35 on the Theater chart.”
A piece earlier in November by the SBJ’s Don Muret reported that Oak View Group, owner of OVG Facilities had been barred from bidding on the business.
Bids were due to Richmond-based investment bank Harris Williams & Co. by Tuesday. If Live Nation’s bid were to be accepted, it would need to be approved by regulatory agencies in several countries, similar to when the company purchased Ticketmaster a few years back.
The company did not respond to requests for comment by either SBJ or IQ-Mag as of Wednesday morning.