Gala Coral Interested in Tote

11 March 2008

Gala Coral says it would like to form a consortium with the British horse racing industry to take over the Tote. Chief executive Neil Goulden said he would write to the government to confirm his interest. Last year Gala Coral told the government it would bid £405 million for the Tote if it came up for auction.

The Financial Times reports that Gala would like a partner because it has no experience in pool betting.

The government is appointing advisers to handle the sale of the Tote, which is valued around £400 million. In the meanwhile Ian Good will continue to serve as chairman of the Tote until a new one is appointed to supervise the sale. Half the net proceeds of the sale will be given to the racing industry.

The Tote operates on-course betting and a chain of 450 betting shops. It had revenues of £2.4 billion in 2007 with profit up 27 percent to £30.7 million.