Oak View Group, a Los Angeles-based sports and entertainment company, plans to merge with Philadelphia’s Spectra, the venue management and food services firm partially owned by Comcast Spectacor.
The firms’ chief executives said the combined company would become a “full service” live events firm, between Oak View Group’s specialty in arena development and corporate sponsorships, and Spectra’s focus on food and beverage services.
“I think the industry desperately needs another entity that will grow this space and take the synergistic resources of OVG and Spectra, and be able to redefine what this industry looks like going forward and be able to compete,” said Tim Leiweke, CEO of Oak View Group. He would be CEO of the combined company.
Completion of the transaction, subject to regulatory approval, is expected in the final three months of this year, Oak View Group (OVG) announced Monday. If the transaction is approved, Oak View Group plans to buy out Spectra’s owners, Comcast Spectacor and Atairos, a strategic investment company based in Bryn Mawr.
Company officials did not disclose the financial terms of the merger.
After the close of the transaction, Oak View Group would remain headquartered in Los Angeles and Spectra would stay based in Philadelphia. Spectra employs roughly 3,000 full-time employees and as many as 20,000 part-timers, said Spectra CEO Dave Scott.
“I think you’ll see very few duplications, and so there’s not going to be layoffs. That’s not how we view growing this company,” Leiweke said of Philadelphia-based workers. “We are going to grow. We’re going to spend additional capital. We’re going to give them additional resources.”
Spectra serves about 200 clients, including stadiums, arenas, convention centers, and performing arts centers. The company’s largest unit is food services and hospitality, such as concessions and catering. It offers an array of other services for large venues, too, including box office management, operations, and consulting. Clients include the Atlantic City Convention Center and the PPL Center in Allentown.
Scott is also CEO of Comcast Spectacor, a minority owner of Spectra. Scott and Leiweke confirmed that Oak View Group ultimately plans to buy out Altairos’ and Comcast Spectacor’s stakes in Spectra.
“It’s about, where are your assets really going to grow the fastest?” Scott said of the decision to sell the Spectra stake. “We’re very happy with the financial terms of the agreement. And it’s a small world, we’re gonna bump into [Oak View Group] officials, continue to have dialogues about things. So it just was an opportunity, and I think it worked, really, for both parties.”
Comcast Spectacor, a small piece of the vast holdings of Comcast Corp., also owns the Philadelphia Flyers, the Wells Fargo Center, and the Flyers Training Center.