aris venues weigh up alliance

Paris’s top meeting venues, including Palais des Congrès and Paris-Expo, may be joining forces. Parent companies Paris Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCIP) and Unibail Group are considering a merger. CCIP and French commercial property investment company Unibail have signed an exclusivity agreement with a view to study a potential merger of their operations in the convention-exhibition sector. If given the go-ahead, the merger would include several properties including CCIP’s Palais des Congrès in Paris, Parc d’Expositions of Paris-Nord-Villepinte and Palais des Congrès of Versailles. It would also include Unibail’s Paris-Expo, comprising Espace Champerret, CNIT La Défense, Carrousel du Louvre, Espace Grande Arche, Porte de Versailles and Palais des Sports, and Exposium. Both partners would hold a 50% stake in the activities. They plan to finalise by mid 2007 an agreement, which would be submitted to authorities for approval. The partners are considering a merger partly to provide Paris with better resources to compete against European and international competition and to create a European leader in the convention-exhibition sector.

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