Oak View Group Secures ‘Industry-First’ Financing Deal For Co-op Live Manchester

Rendering of Co-op Live.
– Rendering of Co-op Live.
The 23,500-capacity arena, set to open in 2023, is located on the Etihad Campus in Manchester, England.

Oak View Group announced, that it recently closed and funded an innovative debt financing to fund the construction of Co-op Live, the new 23,500-capacity arena set to open in Manchester in late 2023.

Co-op Live is located on the Etihad Campus in Manchester, and is led by Los Angeles based OVG (Pollstar’s parent company), with Manchester-based City Football Group (CFG) as an equal joint venture partner in the venue. Global superstar Harry Styles is an investor in the building
The partners closed and funded a 27-year senior secured note provided by Apollo Global Management, Inc. and Barings LLC, as well as a 5-year senior secured credit facility provided by J.P. Morgan. Inner Circle Sports served as Placement Agent on the long-term financing.
The long-term financing provided by Apollo and Barings, through their respective clients and managed funds, is secured by Co-op Live and the cash flow generated by the arena over 27 years. 
A rendering of Co-op Live's planned canalside terrace.
– A rendering of Co-op Live’s planned canalside terrace.
2,791 square meters of greening around the building are part of the design.

In addition to the debt facilities provided by Apollo, Barings and J.P. Morgan, the balance of funding towards construction is provided by Co-op Live’s shareholders.

According to the announcement, the transaction is the first of its kind for a music-first venue: a 100% privately financed, long-term, non-recourse financing that will cover most construction costs for a facility without a traditional professional sports anchor tenant. 
OVG also sees the transaction is as “a mark of confidence in the recovery, the future growth of live entertainment and the confidence in Co-op Live’s business plan.”
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.”
The OVG team currently has 11 arena projects under development globally, with scores of sold-out shows at Climate Pledge Arena and UBS Arena since opening last year, which showcase its strength in accessing the world’s best content. 
OVG’s Moody Center in Austin, Texas, which is on track to open this year, has already sold $15 million in ticket sales for upcoming events with iconic artists such as Willie Nelson, The Eagles, and Justin Bieber. 
The £365 million ($497 million) Co-op Live project is OVG’s first international venue. 
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