Firm That Makes Stars Comfortable at Glastonbury Gets Ready to Go PublicBy
Arena Events to float on AIM market for growth companies
Firm also serves golf tournaments, builds temporary ice rinks
Arena Events Group Plc, which provides temporary structures including VIP hospitality areas at the Wimbledon tennis championships and artists’ dressing rooms at the Glastonbury music festival, plans to sell shares in an initial public offering in London.
The company, whose main focus is “blue-chip annual events,” will raise about 60 million pounds ($77 million) through a listing on London’s AIM market for smaller growth companies, according to a statement Tuesday.
The majority of Arena’s revenue comes from sporting events in the U.K. and U.S., including from long-standing agreements with the British and U.S. Open golf tournaments. The company also supplies ice rinks for Christmas events such as London’s Winter Wonderland, and built dressing rooms used by artists including Ed Sheeran and Katy Perry last month at Glastonbury, the U.K.’s largest music festival.
London-based Arena’s origins trace back to 1761, as a company set up to provide tents and flags for public events. It was was bought by management including Chief Executive Greg Lawless in 2007, before former British Airways chairman Martin Broughton’s Sports Investment Partners took a 30-million-pound stake with MML Partners in 2012.
The new funds will allow Arena to “continue to grow the business both organically and by way of potential acquisitions,” Lawless said in the statement. The company also aims to de-leverage its balance sheet by paying down existing debt.
Aggreko Plc Chairman Ken Hanna will join Arena, also as chairman, according to a separate statement from the power equipment rental company.