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Macquarie funds £307m deal for exhibition venues

Macquarie has arranged the financing for LDC's £307m acquisition of the NEC Group from Birmingham City Council. LDC is Lloyd's regional mid-market private equity group. Maquarie originated and structured the debt as a whole loan, which is being tranched and syndicated. Macquarie introduced RBS and two others to the syndicate pre-closing and will be keeping a significant holding until maturity in six and a half years. .

Macquarie has arranged the financing for LDC’s £307m acquisition of the NEC Group  from Birmingham City Council.  LDC is Lloyd’s regional mid-market private equity group.

Maquarie originated and structured the debt as a whole loan, which is being tranched and syndicated.  Macquarie introduced RBS and two others to the syndicate pre-closing and will be keeping a significant holding until maturity in six and a half years.  RBS is also providing a working capital facility. The transaction was structured to address the specific requirements of LDC as well as the unique nature of the underlying business.

The NEC Group includes the following UK exhibition, arena and conference venues:  the National Exhibition Centre, the Genting Arena, the Barclaycard Arena (formerly the National Indoor Arena) and the International Convention Centre; its other businesses include The Ticket Factory, specialist catering, Amadeus and the NEC’s third party venue management operations.

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  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.”

Jones Day and Linklaters acted as legal advisors to Macquarie.

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