Abu Dhabi's IHC confirms $98mln cash deal to acquire London-listed Arena Events

Holding firm to own 70% of UK company once deal is completed

A broker speaks on the phone on the dealing floor at ICAP in London, Britain January 3, 2018.

A broker speaks on the phone on the dealing floor at ICAP in London, Britain January 3, 2018.

REUTERS/Simon Dawson

Abu Dhabi conglomerate International Holding Company (IHC) has confirmed that it is acquiring UK-listed Arena Events Group through a consortium. 

The Theta Bidco consortium, made up of IHC and Saudi Arabia-based Tasheel Holding Group, has offered 359 million dirhams ($98 million) to take over Arena Events. As part of the deal, IHC and Tasheel will own 70 percent and 30 percent, respectively, of Arena Events. 

Listed on the London Stock Exchange, Arena Events provides temporary seating, exhibition services, fencing and other physical structures for some of the most prestigious events like the Wimbledon tennis championships and British Open. It has facilitated sporting, outdoor and leisure events across Europe, Middle East, Asia and the Americas. 

The acquisition is expected to help IHC boost its international footprint, according to Peter Abraam, Chief Strategy and Growth Officer of IHC. 

“Arena’s reputation in the UK, America, Middle East and Asia as one of the largest and most experienced event and hospitality structure companies provides significant value, synergies and global reach to IHC’s diversified portfolio of companies,” Abraam said. 

“As we start to move out of a very tough period for the events industry, we are excited by the prospect of new opportunities.” 

Last week, Arena Events announced it has agreed to the terms and conditions of the cash offer. The company also recommended that shareholders approve the deal. 

Arena Events started as a small furniture rental business in the UK about 15 years ago, under the leadership of Irish chief executive Greg Lawless. Since then, it has grown to become a major event rental business. 

Lawless intends to step down as the Group CEO once the deal is completed, the company said in a statement. 

(Writing by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Seban Scaria) 


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