Silver Lake, the private-equity firm whose media and entertainment investments include Alibaba Group, Cast & Crew, Endeavor and the UFC, has made a strategic investment in Oak View Group, an entertainment and sports group company. Terms of the deal were not announced.
OVG, founded by ex-Anschutz Entertainment Group boss Tim Leiweke and Irving Azoff, has been ramping up its sports and entertainment facilities business, partnering with Jerry Bruckheimer and David Bonderman to redevelop Seattle’s KeyArena for a potential NHL expansion team, pacting with New York Mets COO Jeff Wilpon and the New York Islanders on the NHL team’s new arena near Belmont Racetrack and acquiring Pinnacle Facility Management to join its holdings that include venue trade publications Venues Now and Pollstar.
Earlier this month, Oak View said it received 33,000 season-ticket deposits for the NHL team in Seattle that would play beginning in the 2020-21 season, with more on a waitlist. In December, the Seattle City Council approved a $600 million renovation of KeyArena.
“In less than three years, Oak View Group has made a significant positive impact on the sports and entertainment facilities landscape,” Leiweke said in a statement today. “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.”
Said Silver Lake managing director Lee Wittlinger: “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.”