Two multi-million pound regional deals have been announced in the past week, as Wragge & Co advises Birmingham City Council on the sale of the iconic National Exhibition Centre (NEC) for around £300m and DLA Piper’s Manchester office leads on the £560m float of local success story Boohoo.com.
After a competitive pitch, Birmingham-headquartered Wragges won the mandate to sell NEC Group, which also owns the National Indoor Arena and the International Convention Centre. The deal is being led by corporate partner David Vaughan and real estate partner Robert Caddick.
The NEC Group brings in more than £2bn a year to Birmingham and the West Midlands and supports around 29,000 jobs.
‘With our experience in corporate transactions and market-leading real estate offering, we are well placed to advise on this project,’ said Vaughan.
The sale has been widely reported to be driven by an equal pay settlements bill owed by NEC Group.
In Manchester meanwhile, DLA Piper, led by corporate partners Elia Montorio and Stephen Devlin, has won a role advising online fashion retailer Boohoo.com on its initial public offering on the alternative investment market (AIM).
Founded in Manchester by Mahmud Kamani, Boohoo.com is to place 6oo million new ordinary shares priced at 50p a share, which gives the company its market capitalisation of about £560m.
Montorio said: ‘We are delighted to have been able to advise this Manchester-based business on its maiden IPO and to be involved in such an astonishing and rapidly growing e-commerce business.’
The deal is drawing some comparison with the rapid rise of Bolton white goods company AO, which last month floated on the main market with a value of around £1.6bn, led by Herbert Smith Freehills.