The company which is due to operate the new Marine Lake Events Centre in Southport has been bought by a US-based hospitality and events company.
Legends has announced its acquisition of ASM Global to create what it says will be “a premium live events company dedicated to providing outstanding experiences for fans around the world”.
Building work is currently taking place to demolish the former Southport Theatre and Convention Centre and build a new £73 million Marine Lake Events Centre, plus the Light Fantastic water and light show on the Marine Lake in front.
The Sefton Council project is estimated to attract 515,000 additional visitors to Southport each year and secure an additional £18 million for the local economy.
It is being funded through £33.3 million Town Deal funding from the Government, £20 million from the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and £19 million in prudential borrowing by Sefton Council.
ASM Global – which manages UK venues including Wembley Arena in London, Hydro Arena in Glasgow and Bridgewater Hall in Manchester – was created in 2019 by the merger of AEG Facilities and SMG.
In August last year, Sefton Council announced ASM Global, which it hailed as “the world’s leading venue management company and producer of live experiences” as the preferred operating partner for its new MLEC events venue.
Legends began in 2008 as an operator of concessions at sports venues in the US, but has since grown the services it offers to venues, and the sports and entertainment industries more generally. The ASM acquisition will greatly expand its work in venue management.
The value of the deal has not been confirmed.
A statement by Legends said: “Legends and ASM Global today announced the signing of a definitive agreement under which Legends will acquire ASM Global to create a premium live events company dedicated to providing outstanding experiences for fans around the world.
“The acquisition of ASM Global’s venue management capabilities will enhance Legends’ services portfolio, positioning Legends to meet the expanding needs of sports organizations, entertainment venues, convention centers, and attractions globally while supporting its vision to deliver exceptional live experiences for fans in the digital age.”
Legends CEO Shervin Mirhashemi said:
“Legends and ASM Global are both deeply client-centric and fan-focused and together we will deliver maximum value for our global client roster with even greater support and service options.
“Welcoming ASM Global to Legends is a capstone achievement in our 15-year journey toward becoming the world’s trusted partner for connecting people with the brands and communities that matter most to them, and for helping our clients create memorable moments that keep their fans and patrons returning time and again.”
Ron Bension, President and CEO of ASM Global, said:
“We’re thrilled to join Legends, which shares our client-first approach and advances our goal of offering our partner organizations a truly seamless experience while driving the growth of their businesses.
“Our clients will benefit from Legends’ robust services, innovation, technology, and global partnerships which, combined with ASM Global’s venue management and content and event booking expertise, will provide our clients with locally tailored solutions and cutting-edge technologies to achieve outstanding fan experiences and improved venue owner results.”
Legends provides venue planning and project management, premium sales, sponsorship, hospitality, and merchandise services to many of the world’s most iconic sports, entertainment, and attractions brands, including Real Madrid, SoFi Stadium, One World Observatory, Dallas Cowboys, FC Barcelona, University of Notre Dame, New York Yankees, and Ryder Cup, as well as leagues and properties such as the NFL, MLB, NASCAR, PGA of America, and FIFA World Cup.
Sixth Street, a leading global investment firm with over $74 billion in assets under management, is the majority investor in Legends in partnership with YGE Holdings, LLC, an affiliate of the New York Yankees, and the Jerry Jones family, owners of the Dallas Cowboys.
ASM Global manages a portfolio of live event entertainment venues worldwide and provides best-in-class venue operation and content and event booking. With clients spanning five continents, ASM Global operates venues that serve live events for more than 164 million guests annually including at ICC Sydney Convention Center, Avicii Arena in Stockholm, OVO Arena Wembley in London, Coca-Cola Arena in Dubai, and State Farm Stadium, among many others.
Through this acquisition, Legends will expand its geographic reach and range of services as it continues to innovate and create data-driven solutions tailored to the needs of each individual client.
By adding ASM Global’s complementary capabilities, Legends will be able to support its clients from project conception and planning to venue development and management, content and event booking, revenue strategy and sales execution, as well as omnichannel merchandising and hospitality services.
As part of the transaction, current ASM Global equity holders Onex and AEG will sell their ownership interests. ASM Global will continue to serve existing and in-development AEG venues.
Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.