Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group has acquired the Coventry Building Society Arena), securing 1,000 jobs in Coventry and the future of a venue that has hosted many major outdoor shows and sporting events.
The stadium, which had been run by Arena Coventry Limited (ACL), has a concert capacity of 40,500, with 20,500 standing. Due to host two shows by Harry Styles and one by Artic Monkeys next year, the stadium is typically able to host up to 10 shows per year between sporting commitments. Acts including Muse, Bon Jovi and Bruce Springsteen are among the many to have played there.
The future of the venue was put in doubt when its owner, Wasps Rugby Football Club, went into administration last month. It saw Andrew Sheridan and Raj Mittal, partners at specialist business advisory firm FRP, appointed joint administrators of ACL, Arena Coventry (2006) Limited and IEC Experience Limited.
Retail tycoon, and former Newcastle United chairman, Mike Ashley reportedly bid £17 million for the stadium via his Frasers Group Plc.
Sheridan said, “By agreeing to sign an exclusivity agreement before the 1 November, Frasers Group was the only interested party that was able to meet the terms of the sale process. This was essential in providing the necessary funding that enabled the Arena to continue trading beyond that date.
“Without this, and the collaborative and supportive approach taken by all key stakeholders throughout the process as well as the tireless efforts of the core management team, the Arena would have been forced to close on 2 November, resulting in hundreds of job losses and a materially worse outcome for creditors. We wish Frasers Group and all involved in the Arena every success for the future.”