Now Endeavor part-owner Silver Lake invests in Leiweke's OVG
Silver Lake, the US private equity firm that part-owns Endeavor, the combined Hollywood talent agency and sports and entertainment company previously known as WME-IMG, has invested in Oak View Group, the entertainment and sports facilities company.
OVG was founded in 2015 by Tim Leiweke (pictured), the former chief executive of Anschutz Entertainment Group, the North America-based international sports teams and venues owner, and Irving Azoff, with the aim of becoming “a positive disruptor in sports and entertainment.”
OVG was recently awarded the right to redevelop Key Arena in Seattle with partners David Bonderman and Jerry Bruckheimer, and credited with helping attract an NHL ice hockey expansion team to the market for the first time.
In June last year a consortium led by AEG dropped its own bid to renovate the Key Arena, effectively handing over the venue to the rival consortium headed up by Leiweke.
Silver Lake said: “OVG also partnered with New York Mets COO Jeff Wilpon and the NY 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. Additionally, OVG has recently entered the facilities management business through its acquisition of Pinnacle Facility Management, and also owns and operates venue trade publications Venues Now and Pollstar.”
Leiweke added: “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. I am thrilled to have them as my partner.”
Lee Wittlinger, Silver Lake’s managing director, said: “Technology’s impact on the global media and entertainment sectors has created new opportunities for OVG. 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 is also an investor in China’s Alibaba Group, the e-commerce giant.
In addition to Silver Lake, Endeavor’s existing investors include SoftBank Group Corp, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board. However, it was recently reported to be in talks with Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund for it to invest over $500 million in Endeavor, for a stake of between 5 and 10 per cent.