The NEC’s managing director has said the planned sell-off of the group to private investors is “good news for the NEC venue and supports our vision and ambition.”
Exhibition News has reported today that the NEC Group is up for sale.
In a statement, NEC managing director Kathryn James said the decision by Birmingham City Council to put the group up for sale will help it remain the venue of choice for events in the UK and further afield.
“Restrictions in the NEC site lease will preserve its use as an exhibition venue, and with the fantastic array of live events at The NEC – and across the NEC Group as a whole – that will be the main attraction to purchasers,” she added.
“The latest industry figures reinforce the NEC’s position as the UK’s number one with over 500 events held in 2013/14. We expect our exhibitions portfolio to grow to over 150 in 2014/15 and private ownership will enable us to grow further and faster, realising our full potential.”
The NEC group’s chief executive Paul Thandi (pictured) said the decision to seek a new ownership structure is “the next stage in the group’s development and is a decision the business welcomes.”
He added that a move to private sector ownership will provide capital to be put to use with a higher degree of risk than the council can associate itself with, and will support vision and ambition for future growth.
The group is aiming for up to five NEC groups around the globe.
“Every year four million people come together at over 700 events at the NEC Group’s venues to learn, do business and be entertained,” he said.
“We’re already one of the world’s top venue management companies, operating the NEC, the ICC, the LG Arena and the NIA, in addition to delivering third party management for Convention Centre Dublin, and we continue to evolve our core venues.
“When Resorts World Birmingham opens on the NEC site in 2015, the ICC will manage the multi-use banqueting and conferencing facility which will form part of the game-changing £140m integrated leisure and entertainment complex.”
Thandi added that private sector ownership will also provide the investment required to grow the group’s service businesses, in particular The Ticket Factory and catering service Amadeus.
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