Oak View Group, the entertainment and sports facilities company founded by veteran manager Irving Azoff and former AEG CEO Tim Lieweke, has received a strategic infusion from private equity firm Silver Lake, the company announced today. While terms of the deal were not officially disclosed, sources close to the situation said a Wall Street Journal report claiming that the amount was $100 million was likely accurate, with possibly more to come.
According to the announcement, the investment will support OVG’s growth strategy, including its arena development projects and other strategic initiatives.
Founded in 2015, Oak View is led by Leiweke and backed by Azoff MSG Entertainment. Four years ago, Azoff and MSG joined forces in a $300 million deal that combined some of the companies’ operations while others remain independent, at least officially. James Dolan’s MSG operates New York’s Madison Square Garden and Los Angeles’ Forum; Azoff consults for the company. Oak View Group comprises a sponsorship/partnership company, a consulting division, a venue security company, a media and conference division, a venture fund/equity division and the Arena and Stadium Alliance, designed to create efficiencies and cooperation between venues including Madison Square Garden, the Los Angeles Forum, Boston’s TD Garden, Denver’s Pepsi Center, Chicago’s United Center, Dallas’ American Airlines Center and others.
It was recently awarded the right to redevelop Key Arena in Seattle with partners David Bonderman and Jerry Bruckheimer, and played a key role in attracting an NHL expansion team to the market for the first time. It also partnered with New York Mets COO Jeff Wilpon and the New York Islanders to form a group that was awarded the right to build a new arena for the Islanders adjacent to the Belmont Racetrack in New York. The company recently entered the facilities management business through its acquisition of Pinnacle Facility Management.
OVG’s Tim Leiweke said, “In less than three years, Oak View Group has made a significant positive impact on the sports and entertainment facilities landscape. I am very proud of what we have accomplished in such a short time. This deal with Silver Lake provides us with capital to continue to grow our business as well as invaluable expertise and relationships.”
“Technology’s impact on the global media and entertainment sectors has created new opportunities for OVG,” said Lee Wittlinger, Managing Director at Silver Lake. “We firmly believe that OVG is positioned to become a world-class franchise in sports and live events. We look forward to working with Tim, Irving, and their team of category experts as a strategic partner in the company’s next phase of growth.”
Silver Lake has approximately $39 billion in combined assets under management and committed capital and a team of approximately 100 professionals located in Silicon Valley, New York, London, Hong Kong and Tokyo. Its current portfolio includes Alibaba Group, Ancestry, Dell Technologies, GoDaddy, Motorola Solutions, Symantec and Unity.