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Serious Fraud Office investigates Arena Television collapse

SFO has searched three sites and arrested two people as part of the investigation

The Serious Fraud Office has opened an investigation into the collapse of Arena Television last year.

In a statement, the SFO said it is conducting a criminal investigation into the business practices of individuals associated the company and its linked entities.

Three sites were searched yesterday morning by the SFO with support from the NCA. Two individuals have been arrested and are being questioned.

“These searches and arrests form part of wider investigative activity being undertaken by the SFO in relation to this matter,” added the statement.

Arena Television ceased trading in November 2021, with debts believed to be around £280 million.

The company’s administrators Kroll said they found virtually no broadcast equipment following the collapse. It said that Arena secured more than £290 million against assets which are now believed to have never existed.

In a filing to Companies House, Kroll said that 55 lenders are owed money relating to broadcast assets – with the likes of HSBC, Lloyds and NatWest among the company’s lenders.