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LDC Mulls £600M NEC Sale Two Years After £307M Purchase

NEC National Exhibition Centre Birmingham UK

LDC, the private equity arm of Lloyds Banking Group, is mulling a £600M sale of Birmingham’s NEC Group, Bloomberg Europe sources are reporting.

The reports indicate LDC is chasing a huge uplift in value at the exhibition centre it bought in 2015 for £307M. It is said to be holding preliminary conversations with potential advisors ahead of a potential sale in 2018.

A spokesman for LDC told Bisnow: “There's no comment from LDC, there are no advisors appointed and no sale process.”

LDC agreed the £307M purchase of the National Exhibition Centre and the International Convention Centre in January 2015. The sale of a long-lease by Birmingham City Council allowed the NEC Group (which owns both centres, along with the Genting Arena and the Barclaycard Arena) to pay off its debts and grow the business.

The National Exhibition Centre itself totals more than 2M SF and has been operating since 1976. CBRE advises on facilities management.

The NEC and ICC host 320 events a year between them, ranging from the Conservative Party conference to the Crufts dog show.

Bear Grylls Adventure to be built by Merlin Entertainment at Birmingham's NEC
Fun on offer at the Bear Grylls Adventure

In November Merlin Entertainments announced the start of work on a £20M theme park at the NEC following a partnership with world-famous survival expert, international T.V. host and bestselling author Bear Grylls.

The 86K SF The Bear Grylls Adventure is set to open its doors in 2018 offering thrill-seekers challenges from five activities, including diving, rock climbing, indoor skydiving and the highest free-roam high ropes in Europe.

Last week Solihull Council agreed to press ahead with a £286M HS2 transport interchange next to the NEC.