septembre 29, 2022


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Wimbledon and Ryder Cup suppliers geared up with Irish leadership to acquire €84m

The Arena Group, the Irish supplier of temporary facilities for major sporting events such as the Wimbledon tennis championships and the Ryder Cup golf, has agreed to be acquired by a consortium led by the United Arab Emirates for 71 million pounds (84 million euros).

Arena said on Wednesday that the chief executive of an Irish company listed in London, Greg Lawless, plans to step down once the deal is completed, after spending 15 years building the business. The transaction is subject to shareholder and regulatory approval.

Mr. Lawless, 61, who brought Arena to the stock market in 2017, will continue to advise future owners, Abu Dhabi-based IHC Industrial Holding Group and Saudi Arabia’s Tas’heel Holding Group. Tas’heel is already the major shareholder in Arena, with a stake of approximately 24 percent, and has been instrumental in helping the business grow in the Middle East in recent times.

The offer, at 21 pence per share, represents a 48.4 per cent premium to the company’s closing price in London on Tuesday and is estimated at 3.12 loles per share outstanding at 2.14 million pounds. He also has 6 million exercisable stock options at 1p each in the event of a change of control, with a net worth of £1.2 million.

Arena sales are down 55 per cent to £71.6m in the year to March from the previous 12 months, as events around the world have been canceled during the pandemic. At their lowest, shares in the company were trading at 4p each last November.