Global venue management events company GL Events was granted, 14 January, a 30-year concession to manage the Anhembi convention and exhibition complex in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The complex has 400,000sqm of indoor space and a further 93,000sqm of outdoor space.
A previous attempt to sell the complex had received no bidders and it is believed that the winning GL Events’ bid was the only one when the envelope was opened this time round. It apparently met the minimum conditions of paying a fixed grant of R$53.7m (US$10.16m) for the lease and agreeing to fund a R$620m modernisation and development programme at the 50-year-old complex.
GL Events will be hoping to receive the green light to commercially exploit the area around the complex, which traditionally hosts tradefairs, conventions, concerts and festivals. The deal opens up new potential partnerships with banks, hotels and parking lot operators,
The old Exhibition Pavilion should be first in line to receive major investment and there is likely to be a renovation of the Sambódromo, and an expansion of the Palace of Conventions.
Another condition on the concession from the authorities, reported in the local media, means GL Events must also pay 12.5% of the gross operating revenue to the City Hall, which cannot be less than R$10m per year.
The whole bidding and transaction process has been dragged out due to political wrangling, election outcomes and debate over how much event space the city needs – all against a background of tightening finances due to Covid-19.