London, 16 January 2015
Macquarie Lending (Macquarie) has acted as Lead Arranger of debt financing for around £307 million acquisition of the NEC Group by LDC from Birmingham City Council.
Macquarie originated and structured the financing as a bespoke unitranche loan with a 6½ year maturity. Macquarie introduced RBS to the syndicate pre-closing with RBS also providing a working capital facility. Macquarie intends to retain a significant holding until maturity.
The NEC Group comprises the UK’s leading live exhibition, arena and conference venues; the National Exhibition Centre itself, the Genting Arena, the Barclaycard Arena (formerly 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.
The NEC Group is the UK's premier venue for trade and consumer shows, with more than 140 events attracting 2.1 million visitors a year, as well as hosting significant political and trade conferences, some of the biggest music and comedy acts and various top class sporting events
Adam Joseph, Managing Director, Macquarie Lending, commented: “The NEC Group is a landmark asset in the UK, with a strong heritage in hosting world-class events as well as being a significant contributor to the West Midlands economy. The business and its venues are key to the wider development plans of Birmingham and Solihull Councils, centred around and linked to the airport expansion and City Centre and HS2 developments. Macquarie brings expertise in structuring and underwriting deals of this nature, as well as financing specialist assets in the real estate, hospitality, and corporate sectors.”
Martin Draper, Chief Executive Officer, LDC commented “Macquarie has played a key role in co-ordinating and as lead participant of our financing arrangements and has been instrumental in completing this deal. They worked alongside us in a very flexible way, within tight deadlines whilst still taking the time to understand the business, develop a bespoke financing structure and source appropriate co-lenders. We are looking forward to working with them going forward”
The transaction was structured to address the specific requirements of LDC as well as the unique nature of the underlying business.
Jones Day and Linklaters acted as legal advisors to Macquarie.
LDC is the leading private equity company in the UK mid-market. LDC is part of the Lloyds Banking Group and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. It has completed over 485 investments and has ongoing interests in over 85 businesses in the UK.
With a UK regional network, LDC invests up to £100m in MBOs, IBOs and Development Capital transactions in a broad range of sectors including Construction & Property, Financial Services, Healthcare, Industrials, Retail & Consumer, TMT, Travel & Leisure and Support Services. Recent transactions include investments with Waterfall Services, Capital Economics, Eley Group, Adler and Allan, Clifford Thames, Anite Travel and Stroma. For further information visit www.ldc.co.uk.