IHC subsidiary to acquire London-listed events services company for $98m

Abu Dhabi holding company teams up with Saudi Arabia’s Tasheel to take over Arena

A stadium built by Arena Events in Saudi Arabia. Photo: Arena Events

A subsidiary of Abu Dhabi’s International Holding Company agreed to take over UK events services business Arena for a recommended cash offer of Dh359 million ($98m) as it seeks to diversify its investment portfolio.

The subsidiary, Theta Bidco, is a company created by IHC Industrial Holding and Saudi Arabia-based holding company Tasheel, the two companies said on Tuesday.

According to the terms of the offer, Arena shareholders will receive 21 pence in cash for each share held if they accept.

IHC and Tasheel will own 70 per cent and 30 per cent of Arena’s issued share capital, respectively.

“Arena’s reputation in the UK, America, the Middle East and Asia as one of the largest and most experienced event and hospitality structure companies provides significant value, synergies and global reach to IHC’s diversified portfolio of companies,” said Peter Abraam, chief strategy and growth officer of IHC.

“As we start to move out of a very tough period for the events industry, we are excited by the prospect of new opportunities.”

In-person events are gradually resuming across the world as coronavirus-induced movement curbs are eased amid falling infection rates.

Arena is a turnkey event solutions provider that supplies temporary physical structures, seating, exhibition services, refrigeration, fencing and barriers, ice rinks, furniture and interiors for events across Europe, the Middle East, Asia and the Americas.

“The new owners will help Arena grow through additional funding,” said Ken Hanna, chairman of the event services company. “In this regard, both IHC and Tasheel are perfect partners for Arena as they provide enormous security and backing for the business going forward.”

Arena’s geographical presence and office locations will be important to expanding its international footprint, said Mr Abraam.

“Our aim is that IHC’s global business channels and presence will strengthen Arena’s ability to enter new markets and diversify its offerings,” he said.

As we start to move out of a very tough period for the events industry, we are excited by the prospect of new opportunities
Peter Abraam, chief strategy and growth officer at IHC

Abu Dhabi-based IHC is looking to boost its portfolio through mergers, acquisitions and strategic investments in a number of sectors such as property, agriculture, health care, food and beverage, utilities and industries.

It was founded in 1998 as part of an initiative to diversify and grow non-oil business sectors in the UAE.

In September, the company’s asset management subsidiary bought Dubai’s Inspire Integrated for Dh37m to expand its property, infrastructure and facilities management service portfolio.

Its other investments over the past six months include a 60 per cent stake in Afkar Financial and Property Investments, a 48 per cent share in Emirates Driving Company and a 60 per cent interest in Royal Horizon Holding and its subsidiaries.

Updated: October 26th 2021, 12:53 PM