North West Square | Funding secured for Co-op Live

In addition to Co-op, commercial agreements are in place with Diageo and Bristol Street. Credit: via Blakeney

Neil Tague

Joint venture partners Oak View Group and City Football Group have entered into a debt financing agreement to support the development of the 23,500-seat arena.

The transaction was described by OVG as the first of its kind for a music-focused venue, with long-term financing provided by Apollo and Barings with a guaranteed 27-year senior rating, through their respective clients. and their managed funds.

This was complemented by a five-year senior secured credit facility from JP Morgan. Inner Circle Sports served as placement agent on the long-term financing.

In May 2021, it was revealed that Bam had been awarded the contract to build the site on the Etihad campus, in a £253m deal. Completion is scheduled for the end of 2023.

The co-op signed up as a naming rights sponsor in September 2020, striking a £100m deal to cover at least 15 years. Most recently, Diageo was confirmed as the arena’s beverage partner and Bristol Street Motors as the site’s official automotive retailer.

The £365m Co-op Live is OVG’s first international venue and is 100% privately funded between credit facilities provided by Apollo, Barings and JP Morgan and funding provided by shareholders of Co-op Live.

The executed transaction with Apollo and Barings is secured by Co-op Live and arena generated cash flow over 27 years.

OVG said this is the world’s first private, long-term, non-recourse financing that will cover most of the cost of building a facility without a traditional professional sports anchor tenant.

Francesca Bodie, President of Business Development, Oak View Group, said: “We are proud to have closed this pioneering financing to help fund the development of Co-op Live, which will provide one of the best arenas in the world to Manchester. .

“This shows confidence in our business model and our ability to deliver a robust year-round schedule of unparalleled music and other content.”

The OVG team currently has 11 arena projects in development around the world, with its next opening slated for Austin, Texas this year.

Last November, OVG presented the sustainability credentials of the scheme, which it says will be the UK’s first all-electric venue.

The project’s architect is Populous, which has become a renowned design firm for big-ticket destinations, with a portfolio including Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London’s O2 and Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena.

2. Grand Southeast Aerial

The venue will accommodate 23,500 people. Credit: via Blakeney

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