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Blackstone acquires NEC Group

22 November 2018

Private equity firm Blackstone has bought the NEC Group and its Birmingham arenas for almost £500 million more than Lloyds Banking Group (LDC) paid for it in 2015.

The acquisition includes Arena Birmingham (cap. 15,810), Genting Arena (15,683) and the International Convention Centre (8,000), as well as ticketing operation The Ticket Factory, in a deal believed to total £800m.

LDC, the private equity arm of Lloyds Banking Group, acquired NEC Group as part of a management buyout from Birmingham City Council in January 2015 for £307m (see LIVE UK issue 181).

Since then, it has seen the transformation of its sites and facilities the £4.9m renovation of the National Exhibition Centre complex.

“Blackstone’s proven track record in scaling companies, experience of the live events sector and unrivalled real estate capabilities, make them the ideal new partner for NEC Group to realise the next phase of our ambitious growth strategy,” says NEC Group CEO Paul Thandi.

Meanwhile, the Genting Arena is to be renamed to Resorts World Arena from 3 December (see LIVE UK issue 225), in reference to the neighbouring entertainment complex, which encompasses retail outlets, cinemas and restaurants.

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