OVO Arena Wembley sale completed
Developer and asset manager Quintain has completed the sale of OVO Arena Wembley to Intermediate Capital Group (ICG).
Quintain had put the historic, 12,500-cap London venue up for sale as part of its strategy to focus on its build-to-rent business.
The ASM Global-managed arena is on track to welcome around one million visitors in 2022, with upcoming shows including Machine Gun Kelly, Bon Iver, Billy Idol, Ne-Yo, Jack Harlow, Sigrid and The Cure.
“We’re delighted to be the new custodians of the iconic OVO Arena and to be partnering with ASM, a globally renowned arena operator,” says Andreas Papadolambakis of ICG Real Estate. “The investment represents ICG Real Estate’s first in the content and live entertainment space, a sector which is benefitting from structural tailwinds. As music consumption has pivoted towards streaming, touring has become increasingly important for artists whilst consumers are dedicating an increasing portion of their disposable income to experiences over material goods.
“We expect this to be the first of a programme of investments in the European content and live entertainment market.”
“We look forward to working with new owners, ICG, to enhance Britain’s most iconic arena”
Built in 1934, the arena in Wembley – originally known as the Empire Pool – has been a live music venue for over six decades. London’s second largest arena, it was renamed from SSE Arena Wembley to OVO Arena earlier this year, following in the footsteps of Glasgow’s Hydro (cap. 13,000) in linking with OVO Energy – the UK’s third-biggest energy supplier – which acquired SSE in 2020.
“Quintain have been excellent landlords for the OVO Arena for the last 20 years and we thank them for their stewardship,” adds Chris Bray, EVP Europe of ASM Global. “We look forward to working with new owners, ICG, to enhance Britain’s most iconic arena and continue to bring world class acts and artists to this world-famous entertainment district.”
Quintain, which was bought by US private equity firm Lone Star in 2015, acquired the then Wembley Arena in 2002 as part of its purchase of 44 acres of land in Wembley Park, and went on to transform the venue with an extensive, multi-million pound refurbishment in 2006.
“As we build out the Wembley Park estate, with 3,000 more homes still to deliver, we continue to focus our efforts on our Build to Rent ambition, neighbourhood retail and placemaking,” adds Quintain CEO James Saunders. “Naturally, we will work with ICG and ASM to ensure that the world-famous OVO Arena Wembley will remain an important part of this world class destination and neighbourhood.”
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