Arena makes stateside acquisition

MML portfolio company the Arena Group has acquired US-based Karl’s Event Services.

MML initially backed event infrastructure specialist Arena in February 2012, in a deal which saw Arena move into the Middle East with the acquisition of its Dubai based JV partner Harlequin. The acquisition of Karl’s expands Arena’s geographic footprint into the US, the world’s largest events market.

Karl’s has revenues of $40m and supplies temporary demountable structures, staging, lighting and furniture to clients including the NFL Super Bowl, Mercedes Benz New York Fashion Week and PGA Tour and NASCAR events. Karl’s, headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin has operational bases in New Jersey, Orlando and Ft Irwin, California.

Greg Lawless, CEO of Arena Group commented:

“This acquisition enables the Arena Group to broaden its ability to deliver truly international event overlay and temporary infrastructure. The benefits of this increasing global network will be enjoyed by clients of all sizes as the sharing of knowledge, experience, technology and working practices continues to improve our offering. “

The deal was sourced by MML and Managing Partner and Arena Board member Bal Johal explained:

“Helping companies expand internationally is a key feature of MML’s investment focus, and the deal represents MML’s third significant transatlantic deal in the last two years. It follows the acquisition of MEDEX by Exploration Logistics (which formed the FrontierMEDEX Group) and the acquisition of the burs business of SGS Tools by the ATA Group.”

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