Advising on the sale of the NEC, Birmingham's iconic eventing space

23 August 2016

A multi-sector team of specialists from Gowling WLG advised Birmingham City Council on the sale to LDC of the iconic NEC arena and associated businesses in 2015 for around £307 million.

Corporate partner David Vaughan led the Gowling WLG team, with assistance from experts in real estate and pensions. On a deal which had enormous significance for the West Midlands economy, the team provided advice on all aspects of the sale, including pre-sale structuring work, pensions, all leases and other property arrangements, the sale process and negotiations with the preferred bidder.

The sale comprised all NEC Group businesses, with a 125-year leasehold interest of the NEC site – including the NEC Exhibition Halls, the Genting Arena, Resorts World – and 25-year leasehold interests in the ICC and Barclaycard Arena, together with the Ticket Factory and the NEC's third party management business.

Leaseholds in the Hilton Metropole and Crowne Plaza hotels, together with all freeholds, were retained by Birmingham City Council.

The Deputy Chief Executive of Birmingham City Council praised the "carefully selected group of individuals with legal expertise tailored to our exact needs", and their "extensive knowledge of real estate, first class corporate intelligence and direct experience of having advised on other similar auction sales and transactions involving major exhibition, conferencing and live events businesses".


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