Secret consortium in talks with Fred Done to revive & reposition The Tote

Eamon Wilmott,

Sky News has reported that Betfred founder Fred Done is in ‘advanced talks’ to sell a significant stake of The Tote, as Betfred prepares to readjust its UK racing proposition.

In 2017, Fred Done publicly stated that Betfred ‘was finished with UK racing’, and that his enterprise could ‘live without the sport’, following Jockey Club and Arena Racing Company (ARC) syndicated racetracks dropping Tote betting pool services.

The dispute has seen Betfred lose its Tote trackside monopoly for pool betting within Britain’s most popular racetracks (54 venues total). A contract Fred Done won through a government-sanctioned auction in 2011, paying + £250 million for the Tote business.

Sky News reports that Fred Done is prepared to sell a 25% stake in the Tote to a ‘consortium of racing industry figures’, seeking to revive the asset’s proposition within UK racing.

Fred Done and Betfred advisors are reported to value The Tote at £125-£150 million, targeting an equity stake sale of circa £30 million.

The consortium is said to be led by Eamon Wilmott, the chairman of Total Performance Data, a technology firm seeking to create new engagement dynamics for racing punters and viewers.

Entering advanced negotiations, the consortium has pledged to invest millions of pounds creating a new pools proposition for the Tote, which would be attractive to modern sports audiences.

Insiders close to the talks believe a deal will be concluded within weeks, detailing that Fred Done believes the Tote has a vibrant future despite the impending removal of its presence from the majority of British racecourses this July.

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