The NEC Group is a live entertainment business with over forty years of world-class expertise in venue and destination management. Logo

The NEC Group is a live entertainment business with over forty years of world-class expertise in venue and destination management.

Every year, over seven million people come together at more than 750 events at NEC Group venues and neighbouring Resorts World to learn, conduct business and be entertained.

Five of the UK’s leading business, leisure, and entertainment venues come under NEC Group’s portfolio - the National Exhibition Centre (NEC), International Convention Centre (ICC), Genting Arena, Arena Birmingham and the Vox Conference Centre.

Additional interests include national ticketing agency, The Ticket Factory; hospitality brand, Amplify and award-winning caterer, Amadeus, as well as out-of-home digital media specialists, sponsorship consultancy, NEC Connect Group and a consultancy and venue management arm, NEC Group Venue Partnerships.

On 16 January 2015, LDC entered into a binding agreement to acquire The National Exhibition Centre Group (NEC) in a transaction which values the business at around £307m. On 30 April 2015, LDC announced that it had completed the acquisition of the NEC Group from Birmingham City Council. The transaction transfers the NEC into private ownership for the first time and allows the business to more easily realise available growth opportunities.

As part of the transaction, LDC also acquired Birmingham City Council’s interest in Genting Resorts World at the NEC site.

LDC is working alongside the NEC’s current management team, led by Chief Executive Paul Thandi, delivering further strategic organic and acquisition-led initiatives across all business channels, both in the UK and overseas.

NEC's purchase by LDC won 'Deal of the Year' at the Midlands Insider Dealmakers Awards 2015. This deal was widely praised not only for its scale and complexity, but for the impact it will have on the NEC itself and wider Midlands economy.

In June 2017 The NEC Group was crowned 'Large Business of the Year' at the West Midlands Business Masters Awards in Birmingham. The event, which recognises the organisations that have made a significant contribution to the Midlands economy and celebrates business talent in the region, also saw CEO Paul Thandi pick up 'Ambassador of the Year'. These awards followed the NEC Group being named 'Large Management Team of the Year' at the BVCA Management Team Awards in May 2017.

Since LDC's investment, revenue has grown each year, the latest financial results for the year to 31 March 2018 reported revenue of £162.1m, up £4.4m (2.8%) on the previous year. Earnings before interest, depreciation and amortisation (“EBITDA”) were £54.7m, up £4.9m (9.8%).

Earnings have continued to grow since the year end with unaudited EBITDA over the twelve months to 31 May 2018 now standing at £60m, up £12m compared with the year to 31 May 2017.

The earnings growth reflects the group’s strategy to broaden the range of events across the NEC campus and city centre venues following investment in facilities and increasing use of customer data analytics to maximise new event opportunities.

We wanted to change our business and realise our business plan. We wanted investment to build new businesses, organically grow our business, invest in our teams and complete some acquisitions to grow our portfolio. We had a choice of a few people to go with, and what I liked the most about LDC was their approach. First and foremost, it wasn't the business, it was the management team that they were interested in. With this management team and the right backer in LDC there is no reason why we cannot grow our business exponentially in the next three to five years. Paul Thandi, Chief Executive, The NEC Group