Exhibition News November 2018 - Page 8

NEWS THE MONTH IN NUMBERS 1,600,000 – people who have attended Coventry’s Ricoh Arena over the past year £400,000 – invested into EventCity’s new refurbishment in Manchester 350% - rise in visitor numbers at Blockchain Live 2018 over 2017’s event 15,671 8 – attendees to IP Expo Europe 20% - increase in floor space for Futurebuild Events’ planned expansion Quote/ Unquote “All of our teams and partners look forward to working closely with the world class team as we embark on becoming the definitive name in events and exhibitions” Paul Thandi, chief executive of the NEC Group, on Blackstone acquisition November 2018 | exhibitionnews.co.uk Blackstone confirms acquisition of NEC Group Private equity company Blackstone has announced the acquisition of the NEC Group – encompassing the NEC, Resorts World Arena, ICC Birmingham, The Ticket Factory and more – from the private equity arm of Lloyds Banking Group (known as LDC) in a deal worth a reported £800m. LDC originally backed a management buyout of the Group from Birmingham City Council in 2015 for £307m. Since then, it has supported a four-year transformation programme to enhance sites, facilities and customer experience and broaden the range of events across the Group’s portfolio, supported by significant capital investment. Most recently, the Group unveiled the results of an ambitious £4.5m transformation of the NEC’s interior and exterior, named Project Facelift. This isn’t Blackstone’s first foray into the exhibition industry, having previously acquired Clarion Events in summer 2017 for approximately £600m. Lionel Assant, European head of private equity at Blackstone, commented: “We have tremendous respect for what has been achieved; NEC Group is iconic and we are excited about our new partnership as we look to leverage our firm’s capabilities in support of the team.” Austen Hawkins and Simon Coe launch The Mental Health Show Austen Hawkins, managing director of F2F Events, has teamed up with Simon Coe of SC Consulting to launch The Mental Health Show, taking place on 29-30 June at ExCeL London. The event has been in development for the past 18 months. Hawkins announced the new event via LinkedIn, saying: “Simon Coe and I are delighted to announce the launch of The Mental Health Show (MHS), the first large scale mental health event that will provide the public, through curated super theatres, with access to world class advice, learning and support. “Mental Health affects us all, so MHS will be a totally inclusive free to attend event. We are aiming to do something very special that could have a profound and positive impact on people’s lives.” To put on the event, Coe tells EN , it was necessary to rethink the traditional exhibition model. Rather than the traditional consumer show model of selling tickets, he continues, the event will be free to attend because “mental health doesn’t respect bank balances.”