The government’s advisors,
(PwC), has told ministers the valuation of the
Tote was too low
and the £320m deal with a racing consortium risked being vetoed by the EU for
breaching state aid rules in a case of déjà vu of when the government first
decided to sell the Tote.
The government has put itself in a difficult position because it has made a
manifesto pledge to sell the Tote to the racing industry. However, a consortium,
consisting of Tote management and staff, the Racecourse Association and the
Racehorse Owners Association, has found it hard to meet a higher valuation of
£400m, according to Jackpot.co.uk.
The consortium’s bid is being backed by Lloyds but, after originally planning
to pay £330m of the required equity, it will now apparently only provide £250m.
There is also interest in the business from Gala Coral, the bookmaker and
casino operator, which is willing to lay out £405m for the Tote.
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