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OVG buys British hospitality group Rhubarb

The high-end hospitality group, which boasts more than 25 years in the industry, operates in London, New York and Berlin

By Lisa Henderson on 01 Jun 2023

The Royal Albert Hall is a client of Rhubarb Hospitality Collection

image © Wikimedia Commons/Diliff

Oak View Group (OVG) has acquired Rhubarb Hospitality Collection, a high-end hospitality group with venues in London, New York and Berlin.

Rhubarb’s 2,000-strong team caters for over five million people every year at venues including Hudson Yards (New York) and Royal Albert Hall, Ascot Racecourse, Sky Garden, 22 Bishopsgate in London. Other clients include immersive live entertainment experiences Mamma Mia! The Party and Frameless.

The company, which boasts more than 25 years in the industry, is forecasted to deliver nine-figure revenues in 2023.

OVG says the acquisition of Rhubarb will drive plans to transform the food and beverage experience at arenas, stadiums, and live entertainment venues across the UK and around the world.

The transaction represents a continuing expansion by OVG into premium hospitality, with its new food and beverage arm, OVG Hospitality, now “the fastest-growing concessions and premium hospitality platform in the live entertainment and convention industry,” according to the company.

In recent years, OVG has acquired a number of companies in the hospitality industry including Bovingdons Catering and Spectrum Catering, Concessions & Event Services.

“By adding Rhubarb we think we are now best-in-class on premium experience and hospitality”

“This acquisition, along with other companies we acquired over the last two years, gives us a platform that we think rivals or is better than any other food and beverage company out there,” says Tim Leiweke, chairman and CEO, Oak View Group.

“We feel strongly about this because we are facility owners and operators, and we see food and beverage differently than people who are simply just third-party vendors. If you look at the arenas we own and operate and you look at our upcoming ventures, like Co-op Live, by adding Rhubarb we think we are now best-in-class on premium experience and hospitality and that is in large part because of our knowledge and experiences as arena owners and operators, not just food and beverage vendors.

“We’ve always believed that fans deserve the very best, from their experience getting to and from an arena to the best possible presentation of the show they’ve chosen to see, to the food and drink they buy. It has been clear from our first meeting that the Rhubarb team shares both our vision to elevate the fan experience, as well as our focus on quality, sustainability, and the importance of a great company culture. Rhubarb and OVG are the perfect partners to design and deliver the world’s best hospitality at venues around the world.”

Pieter-Bas Jacobse, chief executive of Rhubarb Hospitality Group, adds: “This is an incredibly meaningful partnership for Rhubarb, and we are thrilled to partner with OVG. We have known the team for many years, they understand our business model, and we all see best-in-class hospitality as essential to the value proposition between venues and their fans. Together, we are determined to redefine what it means to deliver a truly exceptional and unforgettable experience in our industry.”

OVG oversees the operations of Climate Pledge Arena at Seattle Center, UBS Arena in Belmont Park, NY, and Moody Center in Austin, TX as well as arena development projects for Acrisure Arena in Palm Springs, CA; Co-op Live in Manchester, UK; and projects for Arena São Paulo in São Paulo, BZ; CFG Bank Arena in Baltimore, MD; FirstOntario Centre Arena in Hamilton, ON; a new arena and entertainment district in Las Vegas, NV; and a new arena in Cardiff, Wales.


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