Potential bids to acquire Olympia in £300m+ deal

Twitter Facebook Google+ LinkedIn
Olympia-London-NEW-resized.jpg

A Chinese industrial conglomerate, HNA Holding Group Co., is bidding to acquire Olympia London, reports have suggested.

 

Bloomberg has reported the Chinese company, which bought a stake in Deutsche Bank recently, teamed up with Bugsby Property LLC to approach Olympia owners Capital & Counties (CapCO) to buy its venues unit (which includes the exhibition and conference centre).

 

Bloomberg said sources close to the bid were speculating that a separate bid from a group including Yoo Capital Ltd. and a German company, was also on the table.

 

EN understands that a separate bid from a group including Yoo Capital Ltd and German institutional investors is also on the table.

 

Capco confirmed the approach in a brief statement, on 7 April, that it was “in advanced discussions concerning the sale of Venues, its exhibition business, comprising Olympia London together with certain related property assets for a price in line with the 31 December 2016 valuation. There is no certainty that the sale will proceed and further announcements will be made as appropriate".

 

Simon Kimble, chairman of Clarion Events and past president of industry association, AEO, reacted to the news: “Following the closure of Earls Court exhibition halls we would be looking for any new buyer to commit to Olympia’s events and exhibition business, as well as to support all the services this business requires.

 

“What we don’t want to see would be an isolated venue remaining at Olympia, with unrelated developments proceeding apace all around.

 

“It would be disastrous for the events industry in the UK if these facilities were lost in London. Any moves affecting one of the nation’s crown venue jewels, should concern us all.”

 

Kimble added that the history of Yoo Capital, in particular, suggested an unlikely fit with owning an event venue, as the company has been more involved in redevelopment projects.

 

Andy Slaughter, MP for Hammersmith commented on the potential sale of Olympia by CapCo: “London Olympia is one of the UK and Europe’s premier exhibition spaces and is vital to both the local economy and the UK events and exhibitions industry. I sincerely hope that Olympia’s next owners will commit to maintaining its role as one of the UK and Europe’s leading venues for events and exhibitions.”

 

Could Olympia be the perfect venue to show off Chinese products to the UK market for HNA?

 

HNA last month agreed a US$2.21bn deal to buy a marquee Manhattan office building in a deal that further evidences the role of Chinese capital in Western real estate markets, although the company does also have a focus on leisure and tourism, owning a significant stake in Hilton and several airlines.

 

HNA, parent company of China’s Hainan Airlines, purchased 30 South Colonnade in London’s Canary Wharf in 2015.

 

CapCo also owns a large property portfolio in London’s Covent Garden and transferred events to new-look Olympia from the old Earls Court exhibition halls when that land was sold for housing development. CapCo’s events business had generated earnings of £19m last year on a total value of £293m.

 

What do you think #eventprofs? Email abyrne@mashmedia.net with your comments.

Twitter Facebook Google+ LinkedIn

Related Stories

Students: Pests or guests?

It’s a question all organisers have to address – what should my show’s relationship with students look like?

Show or tell?

Roopi Woodall, marketing manager at the QEII Centre, asks if the art of conversation on social media is dead – and how to engage with audiences if that’s the case.

BRICKLIVE to partner with Toys R Us

Lego event BRICKLIVE has announced a new partnership with toy megastore chain Toys R Us, which will be hosting a pop-up at the show.

Elsewhere on EN

AEO and SISO launch Independent Organiser Network

AEO and SISO launch Independent Organiser Network

The Association of Event Organisers (AEO) and the Society of Independent Show Organizers (SISO) have entered into a reciprocity agreement following a meeting between their members last month.
BRICKLIVE to partner with Toys R Us

BRICKLIVE to partner with Toys R Us

Lego event BRICKLIVE has announced a new partnership with toy megastore chain Toys R Us, which will be hosting a pop-up at the show.
First five shows confirmed for Farnborough

First five shows confirmed for Farnborough

National Pet Show, Home Building & Renovating and more have been confirmed by Farnborough International Exhibition & Conference Centre, which will open in early 2018.

EN Awards Highlights

silverstream.tv

Most read Stories

And the #ENAwards finalists are…

And the #ENAwards finalists are…

The countdown timer has run out. After weeks of companies submitting award entries and sweating over it, there is just one thing left to do before the big night: Announce the shortlist.
RDS launches RDS Venue brand

RDS launches RDS Venue brand

Philanthropic organisation the Royal Dublin Society (RDS) has announced that RDS Venue will be launched as a separate visual identity from the main RDS brand.
EN Awards People Finalists revealed

EN Awards People Finalists revealed

The first group of the highly anticipated shortlist for the EN Awards has been announced, including Best Newcomer and Best Event Director categories.

Latest Features

Students: Pests or guests?

Students: Pests or guests?

It’s a question all organisers have to address – what should my show’s relationship with students look like?
Flying the nest

Flying the nest

Ever thought about going freelance? Do you have what it takes to go solo? Three event professionals tell EN their stories of building their own businesses.
Spreading the word

Spreading the word

With Global Exhibitions Day just a couple of months away, EN asks what three global exhibition associations are doing to celebrate this year.

Latest Galleries

Grand Designs Live 2017

Grand Designs Live 2017

The 13th edition of Media 10’s Grand Designs Live returned to ExCeL London from 29 April to 7 May, featuring more than 500 exhibitors across six key sections. Grand Designs star Kevin McCloud one again hosted the nine-day exhibition.
Insomnia60

Insomnia60

Over 50,000 video game fans from across the country descended on Birmingham’s NEC on 14-17 April for Insomnia60, the UK’s largest gaming festival.
A sneak peak at Somerset House's new event space

A sneak peak at Somerset House's new event space

Some of the industry’s leading event organisers were treated to an exclusive preview of Somerset House’s largest and most versatile indoor event space at an open house event on 19-20 April.

Latest Opinions

Show or tell?

Show or tell?

Roopi Woodall, marketing manager at the QEII Centre, asks if the art of conversation on social media is dead – and how to engage with audiences if that’s the case.
You get what you ask for

You get what you ask for

Sue Berry, managing director at TimelessTime Ltd, discusses the importance of people metrics and measurable objectives.
The Anti Cyber Attack Checklist

The Anti Cyber Attack Checklist

Following the global cyber attack on 12 May, event tech supplier RefTech has compiled a checklist for individuals and companies to follow to help them reduce the risk of future attacks.