ICG to call the ‘tune’ of OVO Arena Wembley


ICG buys Wembley Arena Image: MJR Group Ltd./Coliseum

Quintain, the developer and asset manager behind Wembley Park, confirmed on September 7th that it has completed the sale of the OVO Arena Wembley in Wembley (UK) to the Intermediate Capital Group (ICG).

‘Quintain’ stated that this forms part of Quintain’s strategy to focus activities going forward on build-to-rent residential across development and asset management, neighborhood retail and placemaking.

Quintain is a British-based property investment and development business, which operates through Urban Regeneration, focused on schemes in Wembley Park and Asset Management, with headquarters in London.

Wembley Park is a district of the London Borough of Brent, England (UK). It is roughly centered on Bridge Road, a mile Northeast of Wembley town center and 7.6 miles Northwest from Charing Cross.

The Wembley Arena (originally the Empire Pool, now known as OVO Arena Wembley for sponsorship reasons) is an indoor arena next to the 90,000-capacity Wembley Stadium in Wembley, London, England (UK), used for music, comedy, family entertainment, and sport. The 12,500-seat facility is London’s second-largest indoor arena after the 20,000-capacity The O2 Arena, and the ninth-largest in the United Kingdom.

The London (UK)-based Intermediate Capital Group is a private equity investment firm focused on providing capital to help companies grow through private and public markets and provides a number of strategies and funds aimed at institutional investors.

‘Quintain’ further stated that built in 1934, the OVO Arena Wembley (formerly Wembley Arena) has played host to some of the world’s most famous artistes, including the English singer-songwriter David Bowie, British rock band Queen, Swedish supergroup ABBA, and the American singer-songwriters Britney Spears and Beyoncé. It is the venue where artistes love to stand on stage and shout ‘Hello, Wembley!’

Purchased by Quintain in 2002 as part of an initial acquisition of 44 acres of land in Wembley Park, the OVO Arena Wembley was transformed by Quintain in 2006 with a £36m refurbishment which, along with the new stadium, cemented Wembley’s position as one of the premier UK locations for live music and entertainment.

Built as the ‘Empire Pool’ in 1934 to host swimming events for the Empire Games, the Arena has also hosted events for both the 1948 and 2012 Olympics. Today, the Arena typically hosts 120 events a year across sport, music, comedy, and entertainment.

With a capacity of 12,500, the Arena is the second largest in London and is operated by ASM Global, the leading entertainment venue operator, with a portfolio of over 350 venues worldwide.

Remarked James Saunders, CEO of Quintain, “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, neighborhood retail and placemaking. 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 neighborhood.”

Maintained Andreas Papadolambakis of ICG Real Estate, “We’re delighted to be the new custodians of the iconic OVO Arena and to be partnering with ASM, a globally renowned arena operator. The investment represents ICG Real Estate’s first in the content and live entertainment space, a sector which is benefiting from structural tailwinds. As music consumption has pivoted towards streaming, touring has become increasingly important for artistes 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 program of investments in the European content and live entertainment market.”

Commented Chris Bray, Executive Vice-President, Europe of ASM Global, “Quintain has been excellent landlords for the OVO Arena for the last 20 years and we thank them for their stewardship. We look forward to working with new owners, ICG, to enhance Britain’s most iconic arena and continue to bring world class acts and artistes to this world-famous entertainment district.”

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