Birmingham NEC MD welcomes Group sale

Birmingham City Council has put the NEC Group up for sale, which has been welcomed by the NEC's managing director Kathryn James.

Birmingham's NEC Group up for sale
Birmingham's NEC Group up for sale

Following a strategic review, Birmingham City Council has confirmed that it is seeking offers for the NEC Group, which includes the National Exhibition Centre (NEC), LG Arena, the National Indoor Arena (NIA) and the International Convention Centre (ICC).

The City Council will invite potentially interested buyers to participate in a pre-qualification process while sale preparations are finalised.

The NEC Group recently secured £140m worth of investment into its Resorts World Birmingham project by Genting UK.

Kathryn James, managing director of the NEC, said: "This decision is good news for the NEC Venue and supports our vision and ambition, which is ultimately to 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 array of live events at the NEC – and across the NEC Group as a whole – that will be the main attraction to purchasers.

"The latest industry figures reinforce the NEC’s position in the UK, with more than 500 events being 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."

Sir Albert Bore, leader of Birmingham City Council, said: "The NEC Group has reached a point in its evolution where it needs to be able to adopt the financial disciplines of a private, rather than a council-owned company to enable the next stage of strategic development. In doing so, economic impact and job creation can be preserved and enhanced.

"An open sale process has been identified through an extensive strategic review process as the way to achieve full value for this internationally-renowned asset, whilst achieving the other principal objectives of enabling the Group to achieve its potential and growing economic impact."

Nick Waight, managing director, Group Convention Centres, added: "The ICC continually needs to innovate and evolve. At its current stage of development, I believe that external investment offers the best solution to continue our journey, and to keep our facilities at the cutting edge of the conference and banqueting market."

More: Honda's event in Birmingham

 


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