Oak View Group to merge with Spectra

Oak View Group, the global venue development, advisory and investment company for the sports and live entertainment industry, and Spectra, one of the industry’s leading venue management and hospitality providers, have announced an agreement under which the two companies will merge.

Oak View Group (OVG), which owns Pollstar and sister publication VenuesNow, was co-founded in 2015 by Tim Leiweke and Irving Azoff, and specialises in real estate venue development and financing, sponsorship sales and partnership management, media and content and facilities management and security. OVG has partnerships with venues, including Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle, slated to open in October, and UBS Arena in Belmont, N.Y.

Spectra, based out of Philadelphia, provides venue management, food services and hospitality, and partnerships services for 330 clients across North America and the globe, including stadiums, arenas, convention centres, performing arts centres, fairgrounds and casinos.

OVG CEO Leiweke in a statement:

This merger brings together two dynamic leaders in the live events industry with complementary capabilities that will deliver a broad array of services to our clients. OVG’s core competencies in arena development and corporate sponsorships, coupled with Spectra’s leadership in food and beverage services will create a full-service live events company that will deliver a compelling and highly competitive set of offerings that meet our clients’ evolving needs. I look forward to collaborating with the talented team at Spectra and bringing together our two organisations to create something truly unique.

Dave Scott, CEO of Spectra, added:

This is an exciting development for Spectra and an important step in our journey to provide unparalleled services to our clients along with exciting growth opportunities for our team members as part of a larger, more diverse. This merger accelerates our existing strategy and will lead to significant opportunities to cross-sell food, beverage and sponsorship services across our combined client base. I look forward to working with Tim, Irving and the OVG team to enhance the future of live events for our valued clients.

Becci Thomson, Head of Premium Sales, Co-op Live – a project being delivered by Oak View Group and The Co-op to bring a new world class venue to Eastlands, Manchester – will be discussing The Future of Hospitality alongside Megan Ashfield, Principal, Populous and Liam Doyle, Principal, Jump Studios, at next week’s ALSD International event being held in Liverpool. If you haven’t already secured your place (in-person or virtual access, make sure to do so TODAY!

The combined company will offer booking and create content for the venues it manages and, according to this week’s announcement, will be committed to sustainability across its business operations.Completion of the deal is expected in the fourth quarter of this year, and subject to regulatory approvals and closing conditions. OVG will remain headquartered in Los Angeles while Spectra will remain in Philadelphia.

UBS Investment Bank acted as financial advisor and Kirkland & Ellis LLP acted as legal advisor to Oak View Group. Moelis & Company LLC acted as exclusive financial advisor and Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP acted as legal advisor to Spectra.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Source & imagery, courtesy: Pollstar

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