Oak View Group secures financing deal for Co-op Live 

Oak View Group has recently closed and funded debt financing to fund the construction of Manchester’s Co-op Live venue.

The global venue development, advisory and investment company is working alongside Manchester City Football Group (CFG) as an equal joint venture partner, as the new venue is based on its Etihad Campus.

The new 23,500-seat arena is set to open in the English city in late 2023.

According to OVG, this transaction is the first of its kind for a music-first venue. The long-term financing will be provided by asset management and investment firms, Apollo and Barings, through their clients and managed funds, and is supplemented by a shorter-term bank facility from J.P.Morgan.

Industry-specific investment bank, Inner Circle Sports, served as Placement Agent on the long-term financing.

Most recently, Bristol Street Motors was named as the official motor retailer of the arena and a founding partner. The deal is also interlaced with exclusive naming rights to a 4,000-capacity space in Co-op Live, now known as ‘The Street’.

The partnership will see Bristol Street Motors provide electric vehicles for the venue, which is planned to be the UK’s first all-electric arena.

Co-op Live also recently added Diageo as the official drinks partner for the arena.

The £365m project is OVG’s first international venue and is 100% privately financed between the debt facilities provided by Apollo, Barings and J.P.Morgan, as well as the funding from Co-op Live’s shareholders.

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

Francesca Bodie, president of business development, Oak View Group, said: “We’re proud to have closed this pioneering financing to help fund the development of Co-op Live, which will deliver one of the world’s best arenas to Manchester.

“It shows the confidence in our business model and ability to deliver on a robust, year-round calendar of unparalleled music and other content.”

Image: OVG