Govt abandons sale of the Tote

The government has abandoned the sale of the
Tote after admitting market conditions
made it impossible to obtain a good price for the bookmaker. It is more than 10
years since the government first proposed the sale of the Tote.

Gerry Sutcliffe, sports minister, told Parliament yesterday he had concluded
that, pursuing a sale was ‘not appropriate’ because of market conditions,
The Times reports.

‘I have therefore decided that the Tote should be retained in public
ownership for the medium-term and brought to the market when conditions are
likely to deliver value for the taxpayer and racing,’ he said in a statement.

The minister is understood to have come to the decision following a Goldman
Sachs report concluding the business was likely to go for only £200m to £300m at
auction, compared to a target of £400m.

Further reading:

Another offer on table for Tote at £320m

The Times story

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