Onex explores sale of venue and event management firm ASM Global

Breaking News 4 May

Onex explores sale of venue and event management firm ASM Global

Onex Corporation [TSX:ONEX] is exploring a sale of venue and event management specialist ASM Global, according to sources familiar with the matter, at a time when pent-up consumer demand is fueling a surge in live event attendance.

The Toronto-based investment manager has asked Goldman Sachs to oversee a formal sale process for Los Angeles-headquartered ASM, which manages over 300 venues globally including Nevada’s Allegiant Stadium and New York’s Barclays Center, said the sources.

Onex and its adviser Goldman have invited a limited number of prospective buyers to express interest in ASM, the sources said. The narrow auction process kicked off only recently, they added.

ASM Global was formed in 2019 through the merger of AEG Facilities – the venue management affiliate of sports entertainment giant Anschutz Entertainment Group – and Onex-owned venue and event strategy firm SMG. Onex acquired SMG from Ares Capital Corporation [NASDAQ:ARCC] for undisclosed terms in 2017.

ASM is expected to be pitched to suitors, including other private equity firms, off projected EBITDA in the region of USD 250m or more, the sources said. The company competes with Oak View Group, which also manages hundreds of event venues around the world, they added.

Attendance at live events such as concerts and sports games is surging following the COVID-19 pandemic, with recent studies showing that consumer interest in concerts is nearing or surpassing pre-pandemic levels. Ticketmaster owner Live Nation Entertainment [NYSE:LYV], which posted revenue growth of 44% to USD 16.7bn for 2022, said in its year-end results that leading indicators point to another record year for event attendance in 2023.

Ratings agency S&P upgraded ASM to B from B- in November 2022 on positive momentum in the recovery of the number and quality of live events, forecasting sustained leverage below 7.5x through 2023.

Representatives for Onex and ASM did not respond to requests for comment. Goldman Sachs declined to comment.

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