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June 8, 2008

NEC Group unveils partner for £90 million leisure and entertainment complex

After a rigorous, year-long tender process, the NEC Group has announced Gentin Stanley (Solihull) Ltd (GSSL) as its partner for the proposed development of a leisure and entertainment complex at the NEC venue site.

Including a large casino, the project is expected to cost around £90 million.

Although details are still being developed, a spa, hotel, high quality bars and restaurants and a casino, together with other significant leisure attractions, are all set to feature within the proposed complex. The casino is expected to comprise less than 10% of the floor area. The development is the first phase of a master plan for the NEC venue site designed to deliver a range of leisure and business facilities to complement the exhibition halls and arena.

The NEC Group has long argued that the NEC represents a very capable and unique site. The proposal by Genting Stanley is set directly to create in the region of 1,000 jobs, to transform the NEC’s offer and in doing so provide a platform to allow the venue to compete in a highly competitive global venue market, as well as to grow the £2 billion economic impact and almost 29,000 jobs that the Group contributes each year to the regional economy.

Paul Thandi, chief executive of the NEC Group, said: “It has always been our first priority to find the best possible partner for the NEC, for Solihull and for the wider West Midlands – company that shares our vision of creating places where people come to discover the future. In Genting Stanley we are confident that not only have we found a partner who shares our vision; we have also found an experienced team capable of bringing that vision to life.

“I look forward to working with the Genting Stanley team to demonstrate to Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council that our proposal represents the strongest, most deliverable most exciting and most appropriate opportunity for the local area in order that we can realise our strategy of providing a world class ‘work, rest and play’ environment at the NEC.”


Thandi: "We have found an experienced team
capable of bringing that vision to life"


Genting Stanley is the largest casino operator in the UK with more than 40 locations. The company is owned by Genting International, a publicly traded subsidiary of Genting Berhad that operates resorts and casinos around the world.

In particular, Genting Berhad, via its 48.26%-owned Resorts World Berhad, owns and operates the Genting Highlands Resort in Malaysia which offers a wide array of leisure and entertainment facilities supported by some 10,000 hotel rooms. Genting International is developing the £2.2 billion 'Resorts World at Sentosa' integrated resort in Sentosa, Singapore which will be home to a world-class range of attractions including a Universal Studios theme park.

Peter Brooks, executive deputy chairman for Genting Stanley, said: “Genting Stanley is delighted to be partnering the NEC Group in the proposed leisure and entertainment complex development. As part of Genting International plc, we look forward to bringing our experience as a leading destination resort specialist to the NEC.

“The proposed complex will bring quality leisure and entertainment facilities to the region and create valuable new jobs in the local economy.

“We are confident of being able to bring a wealth of experience and success to this project and we look forward to the opportunity of being a worthy partner to The NEC Group and demonstrating our strengths to the local government in this exciting endeavour.’’

NEC Group shareholder Birmingham City Council was also positive about the agreement, with councilor Mike Whitby saying: “There is a natural fit with the core business of exhibition and events and the venue has a long track record of welcoming visitors. This is an important opportunity for Birmingham and the West Midlands in helping to ensure The NEC is able to attract even more visitors into the region and to provide a world class attraction for the citizens of Birmingham and the West Midlands too."

The announcement by The NEC Group follows the recent completion of the passage of the two Statutory Orders relating to the new casino developments (Categories of Casino and Geographical Distribution of Large and Small Casino Premises Licences) through both Houses of Parliament and comes shortly before confirmation of the local competitive process that prospective bidders will need to complete in order to demonstrate that their proposal represents the greatest benefit for their local area.

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