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SMG Europe makes strategic UK catering acquisition

Posted on 05 Feb 2015

SMG Europe, the operator of Manchester Arena, Newcastle’s Metro Radio Arena and the first direct Arena in Leeds, has acquired event catering and hospitality specialist, CGC Events Ltd.

Manchester-headquartered SMG is a worldwide leader in venue management and, along with its US base, is working on projects throughout the UK, Europe, Middle East and Australasia. The business has a strong foothold in both the domestic and international entertainment venue markets, and has turnover of £45m. The combined European group has total revenues of £175m under management.

Leeds-based CGC is an event catering company with an annual turnover of £20m and 200 full time staff, rising to more than 1,000 staff on peak days. The business caters exclusively at eight racecourses across the north of England, including the world famous York Racecourse. Alongside this, CGC also provides matchday and non-matchday catering for five northern football and rugby stadiums as well as public and event catering at ten heritage locations including the Yorkshire Event Centre in Harrogate.

In addition to its venue catering, CGC offers a bespoke catering service at events ranging from Welcome To Yorkshire’s 2014 White Rose Awards to the annual Harrogate Flower Shows.

The deal will enable SMG to supplement its SAVOR catering services, providing top quality food and beverages across its range of high profile venues, which host the likes of Rihanna, Coldplay, Michael McIntyre, Take That, U2.

Wes Westley, SMG President and CEO, said: “Local knowledge is the foundation of our worldwide success and this acquisition really strengthens our established food and beverage service, SAVOR.

“As the owner of a number of Europe’s most prestigious venues, we stage some of the world’s biggest acts, so we want to provide our customers with the highest quality experience. CGC is undoubtedly the best in its field and will enable us to extend our offering, so we’re delighted to be working alongside the team.”

Darran Coulson, Managing Director of CGC Events, commented: “We’re very excited to be joining the SMG family. Having established an excellent reputation in the north of the country, we’re now looking forward to blending our local knowledge with SMG’s global reach and expertise.”

John Sharkey, Executive Vice President SMG Europe, added: "CGC is a great addition to our European business. Its client focus and demand for excellence in customer service aligns with our ethos, and we’re excited to grow the food and beverage component of our entertainment and external catering operations."