Earls Court's flame to go out in 2012
19-Jan-10by Annie Byrne
UK - London's Earls Court, home to many iconic UK shows including the Ideal Home Show and the Brit Awards, is likely to close after the 2012 Olympics, following a buy-out by developers.Capital Counties (CapCo), a subsidiary of FTSE 100 listed property company Liberty International, has acquired the remaining half stake in the site from a group including entrepreneurs David Coffer and Anthony Lyons. CapCo purchased the initial 50 per cent interest in EC&O in 2007.Earls Court is expected to honour its 2012 Olympic venue commitments, but it is believed that the halls will be wound up as an exhibition space soon after. CapCo has not yet confirmed the closure, saying only that the future growth and development of Olympia is being discussed.In recent months the venue, which requires a significant amount of refurbishment, has struggled to retain its dominant position in the London event market against more modern Docklands rivals Excel London and the O2.Excel London conference and exhibitions MD David Pegler told Exhibition News: “The latest news regarding Capital and Counties' intentions does not come as a surprise. Earlier stories have consistently indicated the desire to change the use of Earls Court and begin redevelopment as soon as possible. The buy-out allows Liberty to march ahead with plans for a mixed-use development of up to 5.2million sqm on the site.