Birmingham City Council to sell NEC Group

UK's biggest local authority, Birmingham City Council has put The National Exhibition Centre (NEC) up for sale, following a review of the business and to help meet a £1.1bn equal pay settlement.

The council said it would be inviting potential buyers to participate in a pre-qualification process for the NEC Group which includes the catering company Amadeus, national ticket agency the Ticket Factory and hospitality brand Amplify.

The National Exhibition Centre, which was opened in 1976, has grown to be premier venue for trade and consumer shows with more than 140 events attracting over 2 million visitors a year.

Leader of Birmingham City Council, Sir Albert Bore said, “The NEC Group has reached a point in its evolution where it needs to be able to adopt the financial disciplines of a private, rather than a council-owned company to enable the next stage of strategic development. In doing so, economic impact and job creation can be preserved and enhanced.

An open sale process has been identified through an extensive strategic review process as the way to achieve full value for this internationally-renowned asset, whilst achieving the other principal objectives of enabling the Group to achieve its potential and growing economic impact.”