Abu Dhabi firm buys London's ExCel for $626m
Abu Dhabi, May 7, 2008
Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company (Adnec), which operates one of the world’s most modern exhibitions and convention centres in the UAE capital, has acquired control of ExCeL London, the UK capital’s leading exhibition and conference venue.
The acquisition, carried out through Adnec's UK subsidiary, is valued at more than Dh2.3 billion ($626.4 million). It is part of Adenc's strategy of developing a global network of venues to serve the international exhibitions industry, a statement said.
“This very important acquisition is designed to directly support the Abu Dhabi Government’s economic diversification strategy,” said Sheikh Sultan Bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, Adenc chairman.
“Ensuring Abu Dhabi’s role as a major global business tourism centre is an integral element of the strategy. This acquisition will allow us to attract fresh investment, events and talent to the UAE capital and demonstrates our serious commitment to London, the UK and the international events industry.”
The acquisition represents a significant investment in the future of the UK’s events and exhibitions industry.
ExCeL London will act as a cornerstone for the development of a blue-chip brand utilizing the existing expertise and reputation of both ExCeL London and Adnec, he said.
“ExCeL London has a strong track record of attracting a wide range of leading events and has become one of Europe’s most important exhibition and conference venues,” said Simon Horgan, CEO, Adnec.
“Adnec’s strategy is to become the world’s leading venue provider to the exhibitions industry. By developing a network of world-class venues we will be able to serve the needs of an industry that is increasingly global in its outlook. ExCeL London will play a vital role in delivering Adnec’s strategy and in doing so has a very bright future.
“The benefits to Abu Dhabi include increased international awareness of the city and the emirate, international training opportunities for UAE nationals and an opportunity to support international events.”
ExCeL London, opened in November 2000, is the city’s largest and most successful exhibition and conference centre, having hosted well over 2,000 live events, including The British International Motor Show, one of the world’s most popular motor events; and the London Boat Show, a leading public boating exhibition. ExCeL London will also provide key venues for the London 2012 Olympics.
ExCeL’s existing exhibition commitments – including its role in the staging of the London 2012 Olympics – will not be affected by the acquisition, the statement said.
Adnec is one of the world’s leading exhibition developers. It owns and manages the 55,000 sq m state-of-the-art Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre -- the Arabian Gulf’s largest exhibition venue which is widely regarded as one of the most modern facility of its type in the world. - TradeArabia News Service