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Arena Group merges divisions

Events solutions business Arena Group has announced the merger of its UK & Europe and Middle East & Asia divisions.

The company said Arena EMEA will allow its MEA division’s “reputation for innovation and delivery of design led solutions” to be introduced into the UK market. Through the merger, Chris Morris, CEO of UK & Europe; and Andrew Lawson, managing director of the UK Structures and Ice business, will depart the company.

Paul Berger, the current CEO of Arena Middle East and Asia, has been appointed CEO of Arena EMEA, and he will be responsible for overseeing the merger of the two businesses as well as implementing his vision for Arena’s future.

Morris and Lawson will work with Berger and Tom Evans, the new head of Structures and Ice, EMEA, in an effort to ensure a smooth transition from a customer and employee perspective.

Arena Group CEO, Greg Lawless, said: “We believe that the formation of one EMEA division will create a stronger business, both commercially and financially, and this move will allow us to offer a more efficient and innovative turnkey service to our clients which is even more important in these difficult times for the global events market.

“Under this new structure, we will continue to develop the ‘Arena Standard’ into a highly creative, design-led model offering temporary architecture with a permanent feel to the marketplace. This will allow us to focus on what I believe we do better than anyone else – the delivery of exceptional temporary solutions that will continue to exceed our clients’ expectations.”

Berger added: “This merger brings together the most talented people in the event services industry, creating a platform to cement and grow our business with existing clients, as well as taking advantage of the new opportunities that will present themselves during these difficult times.”

In March, Arena Group enhanced its financial position amid COVID-19 through a £9.5m (€10.5m/$11.8m) share issue and a £4.75m loan from HSBC. Earlier in the month, Arena issued a grim financial forecast and news of a cost reduction programme.

The global temporary event solutions provider said “uncertainty over the likely duration of the disruption” caused by the pandemic and increasing number of cancellations and postponements meant it would face a tough start to the new financial year.

Saudi Arabian holding group TasHeel took 60 million shares through a subscription at 10p, while a further 35 million were issued via a placing with Swiss private bank Lombard Odier taking more than half of these.

Image: Arena Group