American Capital Expected to Acquire SMG, which Manages 60 Convention Centers

DARLENE GUDEA, VP, PUBLISHER & EDITOR
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Philadelphia, PA and Bethesda, MD – American Capital, a publicly traded  investment firm with $13 billion of assets under management, is expected to acquire  full ownership of private facility management firm SMG, which manages over 200 public assembly facilities and 60 convention centers. It is expected that SMG will continue to operate as a stand-alone company.

SMG was founded in 1977 when the company signed  a management contract for its first facility, the Louisiana Superdome. Today, SMG manages over  200 public assembly facilities including stadiums, arenas, theatres and  60 convention centers. They  range in size from  small, regional convention centers such as the Lynnwood Convention Center in Washington state to mega-centers such as Reliant Park in Houston and the Direct Energy Centre in Toronto,  which are ranked in Trade  Show Executive magazine’s Millionaires Club, offering  more than  one million square feet of prime exhibit space.

SMG is a closely-held joint venture company with two equal principals: the Hyatt Hotel chain and ARAMARK Corporation.

Organizationally, SMG has two separate operating divisions; one for convention centers and another for stadiums and arenas. Overall, SMG controls more than 1.4 million seats in entertainment venues. Last year, SMG-managed facilities grossed more than $1 billion and hosted more than 8,000 events which  drew more than 50 million people.

In Latin America,  SMG manages the Puerto Rico Convention Center and the World Trade Centre in Mexico City  and is directing pre-opening operations for new facilities in Acapulco and Tampico, Mexico. SMG’s Business Development team is investigating opportunities in the Dominican Republic, Panama, Colombia, Chile and Peru.

SMG is the largest operator of sports and entertainment venues in Europe, with 75,000 seats in eight facilities. The 20,000 seat Manchester Evening News Arena is the largest indoor facility in Europe and the flagship of the group.

American Capital, based in the Washington suburb of Bethesda, MD, acts as an equity partner in various buyouts. It provides funding for acquisitions by other equity firms as well as direct investments in a wide variety of companies. Since its August 1997 IPO, American Capital and the funds it manages have invested approximately $13 billion in over 250 portfolio companies in  transportation, construction, wholesale, retail, health care and industrial, consumer, chemical and food products, including Evenflo, Pan AM International Flight Academy, Aspect Software, Case Logic, Riddell Sportswear Group, etc.

The company’s investment strategy leans toward companies with a strong core business, highly   competitive position in their industry, and a solid management and employee base. From its August 1997 IPO to  April 30, 2007, American Capital paid a total of $1.6 billion in dividends to shareholders, a total return of 660% and  an annualized return of 23%.  The firm was founded in 1986 by financial-industry executive Malon Wilkus, who continues to serve as president and CEO.

Reach Wes Westley, president and CEO of SMG, at (215) 592-4100 or Brian Maney, director of corporate communications of American Capital at (301) 951-6122.