O2 owner denies venue up for sale

The owner of UK venue The O2 has rejected UK press claims that a Cambridge University college is in advanced negotiations to buy the venue.

Contacted by conference-news, an AEG spokeswoman dismisses the idea of a potential sale of the venue to Trinity College.

“AEG’s interest in The O2 is absolutely not for sale,” the spokeswoman says. “It is the landlord’s (MDL) underlying interest in the land on which it sits that is. AEG benefits from a long leasehold interest in The O2 which will not be affected by the sale process. Landlords, current and future, will receive a rental income from AEG.”

It appears any negotiations involving Trinity are instead for the landlord’s interest in the land on which the venue sits, an issue that has no bearing on the AEG’s existing lease agreement.

The venue continues to be at the centre of speculation over dates left vacant at the O2, following the death of Michael Jackson.

Stories in the UK press had claimed Trinity, the university’s wealthiest college, was in talks with property firms Quintain and Lend Lease, partners in the MDL consortium, to buy the O2 entertainment complex for more than £20m.

The south-east London venue, where Michael Jackson was due to play a 50-show residency before his death last month, has become one of the most sought-after venues in the world following successful concerts by artists including Madonna, Prince and Take That.

Quintain last week told shareholders that talks for a sale of its interest in the land were underway with a preferred bidder. However, in a results statement the company said that despite the loss of show dates due to Jackson’s death, “revenue will still exceed the level required to deliver the maximum rental payment to Meridian Delta Dome Ltd, of which Quintain holds a 49 per cent interest.

Paul Colston

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Paul Colston

Managing Editor, Conference News & Conference & Meetings World.

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