Rumours are circulating that much like during the first week of University, some of the bidders for the Tote have endured Freshers Week and can’t hack it anymore. This is if sources close to the Wall Street Journal are to believed.
It was only yesterday that we heard the next shortlist would be announced by the end of January, but this obviously has scared the living daylights out of the two who are now absatining from taking part in the bidding process.
Definitely still in the halls of residence and up for many more nights of drinking are a number of gaming industry companies such as Sportech PLC, Gala Coral, Betfred, in addition to private equity investors Reuben Brothers, and separate consortiums headed by Chris Bell and Andy Stewart.
According to some reports it may transpire that Paddy Power have pulled out of the process, but this is probably mainly down to them not coming out and confirming that they are in the running.
Lazard are the company managing the sale, and after they’ve released the shortlist in late January, their next decision will be whether they want to split the business in two, or keep it as one.
When it’s sold it will end a process that can be traced back to the early 1980s, the time when a sale was first considered.