Tote debacle continues

Despite being in the driving seat, a racing consortium madeup of The Racecourse Association, Jockey Club Racecourses and the RacehorseOwners’ Association are still deliberating on their £400 million bid for Tote.

The £400 million deal, as valued by PricewaterhouseCoopers,is still in the balance because the consortium disagrees with demands fromcurrent Tote chief executive Trevor Beaumont that firms employees should begranted 20 percent equity in the company. The consortium argues that the mostemployees should be granted is 10 per cent.

Furthermore, an agreement is yet to be struck concerning thestructural management of Tote should the sale go ahead and the benefits of asale to the racing industry regarding the debt the consortium needs to financethe £400 million deal.

Tote made £20.8 million profit last and gave a sizeablechunk of £10.7 million to racing, a situation the government is eager tocontinue to fulfil their declaration that the sale of Tote should be asbeneficial as possible to the racing industry as possible.

This latest revelation is somewhat of a surprise consideringthe fact that last month the consortium claimed they were close to an agreementwith the government, despite months of dissimilarity.

An insider of the racing consortium said then:"We're very happy that we still have this opportunity in front of us, andthere is no longer a gap between the two sides. We know exactly what we have todo in order to achieve what we set out to do."

Should the consortium fail to come up with the moneytomorrow, there will be no shortage of takers. Gala Coral, Interactive GamingHoldings and Goldman Sachs have all shown an interest since the governmentannounced it was selling the state-owned bookmaker.

Editor, - 2007-01-25 15:34:43

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