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Tote valued at £400m by government

Tote, the state-owned horse racing betting business, is to be sold off by the government at a market value in the region of £400m.

The government has invited a consortium of racing interests together with management and staff of the Tote itself, to make a final bid for the betting franchise.

The consortium consists of the Race Course Association, the Racehorse Owners Association and the Racecourse Holdings Trust.

The consortium has been requested to submit its bid by January 26.

Premier League set to hear Stevens report

Lord Stevens’ report into corruption in football transfers among top flight clubs is expected to be presented internally to a three-man Premier League committee this week.

The report, which is expected to identify clubs and agents accused of taking bungs in football transfers, will initially be reviewed by the committee who will then decide whether any disciplinary proceedings will be taken.

Lemley hits out over 2012 costs

Speaking publicly for the first time since quitting as head of the Olympic Delivery Authority, Jack Lemley has accused the government of ignoring his repeated warnings over spiralling costs for London 2012.

Lemley, who left the ODA in October, has labelled the financial estimates for the construction projects for the Games as a ‘swamp’ and that ‘a blind man could see’ the problems associated with the Olympic site.

Liverpool close to finalising takeover

The recent spate of foreign interest in FA Premier League clubs shows no sign of abating with Liverpool on the verge of accepting a £450m takeover bid from a Dubai-based consortium.

According to media speculation, the Dubai International Capital group will be allowed to press forward with the takeover this week although there is still interest in the club from other parties including American billionaire George Gillett.

IOC watchdog voices support for 2012

The IOC’s watchdog body which is running the rule over the progress of London 2012 has dismissed recent criticism of the organising committee, stating it is ‘very happy’ with the progress so far.

The London 2012 organising committee has been under pressure in recent weeks after Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell reported to the House of Commons that construction costs for the Olympics had risen to £3.3bn.

However, IOC co-ordination commission chairman Denis Oswald told Olympics executives there would be no ‘knee-jerk reactions’ to claims of spiralling costs.

Jowell confirms rise in Olympic Park costs

Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell has told MPs that the cost of building the 2012 Olympic Park has risen by £900m to £3.3bn in a revised budget report.

The 40% rise in the construction costs was widely expected with Jowell placing the blame on the rising cost of steel and revising transport costs to take into account inflation. The revised figures also include a £400m bill to pay delivery partner CLM to make sure the Games come in on budget. 

West Ham agrees £85m takeover

West Ham United has finally reached an agreement with the consortium led by Icelandic businessman Eggert Magnusson regarding a £85m takeover of the FA Premier League club.

Magnusson's consortium has secured agreements to buy 83% of shares and the Hammers' board have recommended the offer to remaining shareholders.

Magnusson will replace Terry Brown as West Ham chairman, although Brown will remain at Upton Park as a director.

Sportfive sold to French media owner

Rights selling agency Sportfive, which holds the TV rights contract for UEFA’s 2008 European Championships amongst a raft of other properties, has been sold to a French media company in a €865m deal.

Lagardère SCA reached an agreement to purchase Sportfive from its present shareholders at the weekend although the sale is subject to the approval of the antitrust authorities.

Sportfive was put up for sale earlier this year by its owners, RTL Group, private equity group Advent International and Goldman Sachs Group.


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