The Broughtons’ sports group expands with Karl’s purchase

David Hellier
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ARENA Global, an event infrastructure group backed by Sir Martin and Michael Broughton’s sports business group Sports Investment Partners and MML Partners, has acquired US-based Karl’s Event Services.

Sir Martin Broughton, a veteran UK businessman and former chairman of Liverpool football club, started the company after selling Liverpool to its current US owners, thereby ending the controversial ownership of the club by George Gillette and Tom Hicks. Broughton is a life-long Chelsea fan.

Karl’s was founded in 1966 and supplies temporary structures, staging and lighting for major events such as the NFL Super Bowl and the Mercedes Benz New York Fashion Week. The company generates annual revenues of around $40m (£26m).

The acquisition expands Arena’s network beyond its existing bases and follows on from high-profile work completed during the Olympics in 2012, including the 15,000 capacity beach volleyball stadium on Horse Guards Parade. Sports Investment Partners first invested in the group last year. This is Arena Global’s first deal since Sports invested in it.