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Finance

CBS Arena operators to enter administration, preferred bidder ‘identified’

Featured image credit: Coventry Building Society Arena

Coventry Building Society Arena’s operating companies have today (Wednesday) confirmed that they have applied to be placed into administration, adding that a preferred bidder has been identified for the business.

Arena Coventry Limited (ACL), Arena Coventry (2006) Limited and IEC Experience Limited said they have applied to the Court for the Companies, adding that they anticipate that the administration orders will be made in the forthcoming weeks.

An ACL statement read: “The companies and the proposed administrators from FRP Advisory have run an accelerated sales process to sell the business and assets of the companies and have identified a preferred bidder.

“The Arena will continue to trade as normal.  We would like to thank all the working parties involved in helping the companies get to this stage and we are delighted that the doors will remain open to this flagship venue.”

Today’s news comes just days after it emerged that the joint administrators of Wasps Holdings Limited, the parent company of Premiership rugby union club Wasps, had accepted an offer for the team from the Wasps Legends consortium, which includes former players.

The offer only covers Wasps’ men’s and academy teams, with separate talks ongoing for the club’s women’s and netball teams. Wasps was placed into administration last month, with 167 employees being made redundant.

The Wasps Legends offer does not include ACL and IEC Experience Limited. A small number of employees have been retained to support with the orderly wind down of Wasps Holdings Limited and the operation of CBS Arena, Wasps’ home stadium in Coventry, which was unaffected by the administration and had continued to trade as normal.

Indeed, Championship football club Coventry City, a tenant at CBS Arena, played a league match at the stadium against Blackburn Rovers on Tuesday evening. City’s parent company Sisu, along with Birmingham-based live events business the NEC Group, had been linked with offers for CBS Arena.

However, multiple reports over the past 24 hours state that Mike Ashley, head of sportswear retailer Sports Direct and former owner of Premier League club Newcastle United, is now in pole position for preferred bidder status for CBS Arena.