Intrigue surrounds sale of Conshohocken-based SMG

SMG, which operates the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, began seeking buyers earlier this year. (MONTCO.Today file photo)

SMG, the world’s biggest third-party manager of sports and entertainment facilities, is up for sale again, this time with a bit of intrigue: At least one competitor is barred from pursuing the business, writes Don Muret for Philadelphia Business Journal. 

Oak View Group CEO Tim Leiweke, whose company recently formed OVG Facilities after acquiring Pinnacle Event Services, a small facility management firm, said his group is prohibited from submitting a proposal to buy Conshohocken-based SMG.

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“We were told that we couldn’t bid,” Leiweke said. “I don’t know if it’s because of our purchase of Pinnacle or years of competing with [SMG during Leiweke’s tenure as AEG’s president and CEO]. Who knows? So, we’ve stood down and are focused on growing Pinnacle. We’re proceeding with our own route.”

Wes Westley, SMG’s longtime president and CEO, and officials with Northlane Capital Partners, a billion-dollar private equity fund and SMG’s current owner, did not return emails and phone calls for comment.

Harris Williams has issued a book detailing SMG’s assets, which include revenue tied to the operation of six NFL stadiums, two NBA arenas and about a dozen major college facilities among its 200 accounts. SMG’s food service division, Savor, has more than 50 concessions and premium catering contracts, most of which are tied to SMG’s building management deals.

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