Venue’s business valued at £307 million
Private equity firm LDC has entered an agreement to acquire NEC Group in a deal that transfers the cavernous venue’s business arm into private ownership for the first time.
In the deal LDC will acquire Birmingham City Council’s additional interests at the site including leisure and entertainment complex Genting Resorts World – valued at around £200. Other notable assets within the NEC include the Barclaycard Arena, the International Convention Centre, an 11-screen cinema and one of the largest casinos in the country.
The NEC employs 29,000 across its various interests and is estimated to contribute £2 billion to the West-Midlands economy each year. Some of the biggest musical acts in the world have played at the NEC; which is situated near Birmingham International Airport. It has also hosted meetings of the G8 and the European Union and has recently undergone a £100 million refurbishment programme.
This is the first acquisition of 2015 for LDC, which is part of the Lloyds Baking Group. In the past three years it has invested £940 million in enterprising businesses including Clifford Thames and Waterfall Services.
LDC CEO Martin Draper called the NEC “one of UK’s best known and iconic businesses”.
“The NEC Group has developed significantly over recent years and we’re delighted to be working with such a strong and experienced team to deliver the NEC’s next exciting phase of development,” he said.
“We also look forward to working closely with both Birmingham and Solihull Councils to support their plans at both the NEC and City Centre sites which include the airport expansion, redevelopment of the Paradise Circus area and in connection with the HS2 project.”
NEC Group CEO Paul Thandi added that the company has “grown strongly over recent years”, leading to a redefinition of its position as a venue along with strong financial results.
“NEC Group management and staff are motivated to realise our ambitions and accelerate our growth strategy under new ownership alongside LDC,” he said.
“From the start LDC has understood the NEC Group’s potential with new ways of deploying investment in resources and capital to the benefit of the business, our customers and our markets.”