Burges Salmon cross-firm team help administrators get result in Coventry arena sale

November 18, 2022

A team from Bristol-based national law firm Burges Salmon have played a crucial role in the sale of the Coventry Building Society Arena – home to Coventry City FC – to retail tycoon Mike Ashley’s Fraser Group.

The lawyers advised the stadium’s former owner ACL and its joint administrators Andrew Sheridan and Raj Mittal of specialist business advisory firm FRP Advisory, on the deal. 

Fraser Group, majority owned by former Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley, paid £17m for the 32,609-seater stadium, pictured, under a pre-pack agreement.

ACL, which had run the arena since it opened in 2005, had gone into administration following the collapse of its previous owner, rugby club Wasps.

The deal has helped to secure up to 1,000 jobs in the West Midlands city and ensures that the venue will continue to play a major role in its economy as an entertainment and hospitality venue as well as Championship club Coventry City’s home ground.

The Burges Salmon team advising on the deal was led by head of corporate restructuring and insolvency Andrew Eaton alongside senior restructuring associate Nick Middleton and partners James Sutherland and Colin Ligman.

Further assistance was provided across the firm by Ian Carnochan, Will Hall, Michael Duncan, Pav Jureczko, Ben Powell, Ben Tambling and Joe Bailey. 

Andrew Eaton, pictured, said: “We are pleased to have advised the companies and joint administrators and worked alongside the wider FRP team on this transaction, that was completed in challenging conditions.

“In particular, we are delighted to help secure the future of the arena, preserving jobs and hopefully returning growth to the business under its new ownership.”

FRP partner Andrew Sheridan added: “We would like to thank Burges Salmon for their help in supporting us with this significant transaction and acquisition of the arena by Frasers Group.

“Andy and the team provided us with comprehensive specialist advice which has helped us bring the transaction to a successful conclusion.

“We are delighted that the doors of this flagship venue remain open and the arena will continue to play a strategic part in the city of Coventry’s economic tourism plan.”

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