GE Real Estate and Capital & Regional have put the large concert venue in central Manchester up for sale with no published guide price.
Capital & Regional, which also owns The Mall shopping centres in Preston and Blackburn, used a quarterly trading update to advertise the poposed sale. C&R owns a 30% stake in the building. The company said early interest in the sale has been "encouraging".
The arena attracts more than 1 million visitors a year. The sponsorship deal with the Manchester Evening News expires in July 2010.
Capital & Regional completed a £69m placing of additional shares in the past quarter and now has no credit facility and cash reserves of £12m.
A 20-unit extension of The Mall in Blackburn is due to open in summer 2010 and is currently 70% prelet, anchored by a 50,000 sq ft Primark.