Private equity firm Silver Lake is finalizing a $100 million deal with Tim Leiweke and Irving Azoff’s Oak View Group, Amplify has learned.
It’s the third major investment for the $39 million private equity firm that was founded in 1999 and had focused on leveraged buyouts and technology related industries, but in recent years has made strategic investments in several large entertainment firms.
Beginning in 2012, Silver Lake made a series of investments into the firm now called Endeavor, which owns WME, investing $200M for a 31% stake in 2012 and facilitating acquisitions of sports agency IMG and later Ultimate Fighting Championship, as well as Professional Bull Riders and the Miss Universe organization.
Last month Silver Lake announced it held a 5-percent stake in Madison Square Garden, telling investors it believed the company was undervalued and wanted to show support for the entertainment company helmed by James Dolan.
How OVG spends the $100 million from Silver Lake Partners is unclear, but the investment comes as the company appears poised for another period of expansion. Earlier this year OVG added Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky to its expanding Arena Alliance, and is hoping to win the contract to manage the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles, currently held by SMG. OVG has also won the rights to redevelop KeyArena in Seattle and develop a new home for the New York Islanders. In recent years OVG has purchased trade titles Venues Today and Pollstar and made a strategic investment in SportsTechie. More acquisitions are expected in the coming weeks and months, including media properties in the U.K. as OVG eyes international expansion.
In fact OVG is growing so fast that it has signed a lease for a private jet for company-related travel. OVG officials said other business partners use the aircraft as well. In recent years, OVG has also invested in the security space with its firm Prevent Advisors, purchased venue management firm Pinnacle and launched two industry conferences.