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Irish-Led Events Firm Arena Agrees To Takeover By Middle Eastern Consortium

Published on Oct 22 2021 11:00 AM in General Industry tagged: Wimbledon / Arena Events Group / the British Open / the Ryder Cup. / IHC Industrial Holding / Tasheel Holding Group

Irish-Led Events Firm Arena Agrees To Takeover By Middle Eastern Consortium

According to The Irish Independent, Irish-led Arena Events Group has agreed to a £71 million (€84 million) takeover by a Middle Eastern consortium. Arena, which reportedly for the past 15 years has...

According to The Irish Independent, Irish-led Arena Events Group has agreed to a £71 million (€84 million) takeover by a Middle Eastern consortium.

Arena, which reportedly for the past 15 years has been headed by Dubliner Greg Lawless, provides a range of events products and services, including seating, scaffolding, bar hire, and graphics.

It has reportedly worked on a number of high-profile events, including Wimbledon, the British Open, and the Ryder Cup.

Middle East Investors

The London-listed company is reportedly being acquired by Abu Dhabi-based IHC Industrial Holding and Saudi Arabian-based Tasheel Holding Group.

Tasheel has reportedly been a major shareholder in Arena since early last year, reportedly participating in capital raises by Arena to strengthen its balance sheet due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Should the deal be approved, Lawless, who is reportedly a former director of corporate finance at stockbrokers Davy, reportedly could make up to £3.4 million (€4 million) from his shares in the company.

Following completion of the acquisition, Lawless reportedly plans to step down as chief executive of the group.

However, it is reportedly intended that he will take up a senior advisory role to the new board, with a particular focus on advising in relation to the future acquisition strategy of the company.

The deal, which is reportedly subject to approval by shareholders and the regulator, will reportedly see the company sold for 21p per share.

Last November, shares in the company, which reportedly has more than 1,200 employees, traded as low as 4p, as the pandemic reportedly heavily impacted its turnover due to the warehousing of live sports events.

Shares had reportedly recovered and were reportedly trading at 14p in London on Tuesday October 19, before reportedly leaping over 42pc when the news broke.

Arena chairman Ken Hanna reportedly said, "The offer from the consortium represents a substantial premium to the Arena Group's existing share price and recognises the quality of Arena, the agility of the business to successfully rebound from the COVID pandemic and its standing amongst its peers as the world of events returns to normality.

"As a privately owned group, the new owners will help Arena grow through additional funding which guarantees the future of the firm as a leader in the event rental market. In this regard, both IHC and Tasheel are perfect partners for Arena, as they provide enormous security and backing for the business going forward."

In the 12 months to April 30, Arena reportedly reported adjusted earnings of £5.7 million, reportedly down from £13.2 million the prior year, as the pandemic disrupted live events across the world.

© 2021 Hospitality Ireland – your source for the latest industry news. Article by Conor Farrelly. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.

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