The NEC Group, which includes caterer Amadeus, has been sold to private equity firm LDC, in a deal worth around £307m.
The sale is believed to be one of the biggest agreed by Birmingham City Council and takes the business into private ownership. LDC is the private equity arm of Lloyds Banking Group, which is part-owned by the taxpayer.
The £307m price tag, of which £15m includes a loan note, includes the value of the leases of the on-site Hilton Metropole and Crowne Plaza hotels, which are being retained by the council.
Included in the deal are all strands of the NEC Group business, with the council providing a 125-year leasehold interest in the NEC site, comprising the NEC Exhibition halls, the Genting Arena (formerly LG Arena), and 25-year leasehold interests in the International Convention Centre and Barclaycard Arena (formerly the National Indoor Arena).
Paul Thandi, NEC Group's chief executive, described the successful conclusion to the sale process, which began last March, as good news for all concerned.
"The Council is able to realise substantial proceeds from this transaction whilst providing the Group with an opportunity to benefit from numerous growth opportunities in the core and ancillary businesses and internationally, and ensuring it remains a cornerstone of the region's economic prospects," he said.
Amadeus managing director Kevin Watson also welcomed the news: "Private sector ownership will enable Amadeus to fulfil its growth potential through maximising opportunities to expand the business and attract new customers and clients, whilst ensuring Amadeus continues to provide the high standard of food and service it is known for."