Birmingham City Council has resolved to seek offers for the NEC Group to secure an investor who shares the vision and strategic ambitions of the NEC Group and to maximise the proceeds for Birmingham City Council. The council believes that bringing the NEC Group under private ownership will enable the business to take full advantage of its growth opportunities and reach the next stage of its development.
The City Council will invite potentially interested buyers to participate in a pre-qualification process while sale preparations are finalised. In structuring a transaction, the City Council intends to ensure that the existing uses of the exhibition centre, International Convention Centre and two arenas (LG Arena and National Indoor Arena) are preserved. This will secure the profile of Birmingham and the broader West Midlands as a world-class home of a broad array of live events.
The City Council also intends to retain claw-back rights over certain land at the main NEC site, so ensuring that it preserves potential future development value from a highly attractive site that will be adjacent to the Birmingham Interchange HS2 station.
The NEC Group has developed under a highly-experienced management team, led since 2006 by Chief Executive Paul Thandi. Securing and enhancing this economic impact of the Group is a key objective for Birmingham City Council.
The council believes that a strong NEC Group attracts further economic activity to the region. This has been evidenced strongly through securing the £140 million plus investment into Resorts World Birmingham by Genting UK. The NEC Group’s position would be strengthened through private sector ownership, and this should act as a catalyst for further investment in the region.
In addition to its four venues, the NEC Group has successfully established a number of related businesses. These include a national ticketing agency (The Ticket Factory), a catering business (Amadeus) and NEC Group International which is taking its venue management expertise into the operation of third party-owned venues.
Martin Angle, Chairman of the NEC Group, said:
The NEC Group comprises four of the best-known and most well-established venues in the UK, located at the heart of England and boasting unrivalled accessibility by all modes of transport. The Group has weathered the challenging economic environment and has a clear vision for its future growth.
We look forward to working with Birmingham City Council in preparing the NEC Group for this major step forward and believe that its iconic status and portfolio of venues and businesses is likely to attract strong interest from potential buyers, from both the UK and overseas.
Birmingham City Council and the NEC Group have retained Gleacher Shacklock LLP as financial advisers and Wragge & Co LLP as legal advisers in relation to the sale process.