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Buy out at Earl’s Court venue

Clarion Events, which organises three major art and antiques fairs in London, announced a £45m management buyout from its parent company, Earl’s Court & Olympia Group, last week.

The management team that had been negotiating the buy-out for several months is led by Simon Kimble, Clarion's managing director, and backed by HG Capital.

Clarion, which also runs the House and Garden Fair, said it would continue to invest in its existing events and would aim to expand through ‘potential strategic acquisitions in the UK’.

News that the fine art and antiques fairs at Olympia will continue largely unchanged will come as a relief to hundreds of dealers who depend heavily on them for business estimated at £80m annually.

The deal appears to end five years of changes at the exhibition centres at Olympia and Earl’s Court, which were bought from P & O by Earl’s Court & Olympia Group for £183m in 1999.

The centres were bought then sold to St James Capital and Nomura International for £245m five months ago.