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AEG Europe takes Majority Stake in Thames Clippers

Thames Clippers media release

Investment in additional river services to coincide with the launch of The O2 Arena

AEG Europe has acquired a majority stake in Thames Clippers, the Capital’s largest operator of high-speed commuter boats.

The investment includes the purchase of existing shares from independent private equity investor, Pi Capital and the purchase of new boats allowing Thames Clippers to offer an increased  frequency of service across current and new routes, coinciding with the opening of The O2 (formerly Millennium Dome) in July 2007*.

The deal sees the existing Thames Clippers management team remaining (to be joined by AEG Europe representatives on the board) and the introduction of an additional six catamaran-type vessels on the river in 2007 with an increase in the frequency of service to every 15 minutes down from the current 40 minutes.  Each vessel could carry 220 passengers.

David Campbell, President and CEO of AEG Europe said: “Thames Clippers is a robust, successful company that have established a successful commuter business where many have failed. Traditionally the Thames has been under-used and resourced; this additional investment is a step to not only improving the service across the board but providing an effective, economical and speedy way to access The O2 upon opening next year.” 

Sean Collins, Managing Director of Thames Clippers said: “We are delighted that AEG has chosen to invest in Thames Clippers. Together we can work towards a shared vision with river transport becoming a viable alternative to travelling by tube and bus. The expanded fleet will give more capacity during peak hours and allow us to operate a more frequent service during the day benefiting existing customers and attracting more commuters and visitors to the river. We are excited about the future for river transport and look forward to working with AEG management to make the vision a reality.

The O2 will include a state of the art entertainment complex including 23,000 seat arena, a smaller music club, exhibition space, 11 screen cinema, restaurants and bars.

The current Thames Clipper service runs 7 boats, carrying circa 3,500 passengers a day.  Launched in 1999, the route runs between Embankment (Savoy pier) to Woolwich Arsenal.  There are additional services including ‘Tate to Tate’, and ‘Hilton Docklands to Canary Wharf’.

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* The arena, ice rink, exhibition space, cinema complex and entertainment district form part of Phase 1 which will open in July 2007.  The proposed casino and two hotels are part of Phase 2 and are subject to the Governments decision regarding the granting of a regional casino licence and the subsequent due process regarding planning permission.

Further Editor’s notes

About AEG (Anschutz Entertainment Group)

AEG is one of the leading sports and entertainment presenters in the world. A wholly owned subsidiary of The Anschutz Company, it owns or operates some of the world’s best arenas and theatres, numerous sports franchises including the Los Angeles Kings (NHL) and The David Beckham Academy, and a collection of companies dedicated to producing, promoting and presenting world-class live entertainment.

In May 2005, AEG announced that it had joined forces with O2 to help transform the former Millennium Dome and the surrounding area into the UK’s most exciting and technically advanced music, sport and entertainment destination. It has been renamed ‘The O2 and will open in July 2007.

 AEG employs more than 3,000 staff in over 45 operating companies worldwide. Its international head office is at STAPLES Center, Los Angeles, and its European headquarters is now based in London.

About Thames Clippers

Thames Clippers is the leading provider of commuter passenger services on the River Thames, operating fast modern boats over the key central stretch of the river between Central London, through Canary wharf to Woolwich.

Thames Clippers was formed in 1999 and has expanded rapidly, now carrying 1 million passengers a year. In 2002 it was awarded the contract by TfL to operate the commuter route between Embankment (Savoy pier) to Docklands and now operates a scheduled service between Woolwich and the West End serving 11 piers adjacent to busy commercial and residential areas. The company operates a fleet of 6 high speed catamarans including the Damien Hirst liveried Hurricane Clipper which links the Tate Modern and Tate Britain galleries.

Further information can be found at www.thamesclippers.com

About ‘The O2

The centrepiece of the multi-billion pound development will be an indoor arena for up to 23,000 fans that will host at least 150 world-class music, entertainment and sport events in its first year of opening. Within the facility there will be the Studio2 Music Club with a capacity of over 2,000, an ice rink called the O2 Ice Pad, a ‘bubble’ shaped world-class exhibition space and a vibrant ‘entertainment district’ featuring a variety of bars, restaurants, retail and leisure facilities. 

In Zone 2 of London’s Underground, The O2 is situated at the North Greenwich station on the Jubilee Line, which provides direct access to central London in less than twenty minutes.

The O2 is an official venue for the 2012 Olympics hosting both the gymnastic and basketball events.