Catalyst supports NEC management team on £300m landmark transaction

A team at Catalyst has successfully advised the management team of the NEC Group on their participation in the £300 million buy-out of this internationally recognised facility. The deal, led by CEO Paul Thandi and funded by LDC and Macquarie Bank, covers all NEC Group businesses, including The National Exhibition Centre, the Genting Arena, the Barclaycard Arena (formerly the The National Indoor Arena) and the International Convention Centre, as well as the NEC’s other commercial activities including The Ticket Factory, specialist catering business, Amadeus and the NEC’s third party venue management operations.

Widely regarded as an iconic British business, the NEC Group is a major contributor to the West Midlands economy, delivering an estimated economic impact to the region of more than £2 billion per annum and supporting some 29,000 jobs. The business has hosted events as diverse as G8 and European Union summits, political and industry conferences, Horse of the Year Show, Crufts and virtually all of music and comedy’s global stars.

Paul Thandi, NEC Group's chief executive, commented on the deal:

"The successful conclusion to the sale process is very good news for all concerned. NEC Group has thrived under Birmingham City Council's ownership and the region has benefited enormously. Today, the council is able to realise substantial proceeds from this transaction whilst providing the group with an opportunity to benefit from numerous growth opportunities in the core and ancillary businesses and internationally, and ensuring it remains a cornerstone of the region’s economic prospects."

"The NEC Group has developed significantly over recent years and we are delighted to be working with such a strong and experienced team to deliver the NEC’s next exciting phase of development," said LDC chief executive Martin Draper.

"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," he continued.

Richard Sanders, partner at Catalyst who led the Catalyst team, commented, "I am delighted that we have been involved in this landmark deal in the Midlands and we look forward to seeing the business go from strength-to-strength under this new ownership."

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