Ministers mull Goldman report into Tote sale

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Goldman Sachs, the investment bank that is managing the sell- off of the publicly owned Tote, has submitted its initial report to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), detailing the options facing the betting firm.

A spokesman for the DCMS confirmed the report from its adviser has just been submitted.

It has now been handed to ministers who will take a decision as to the merits of a sell-off in the next few weeks, before the summer recess at the end of July.

News that the findings have been handed to the Government comes after a report suggesting that Goldman has unearthed a "£90m black hole" in the finances of the Tote that could dramatically reduce the sale price of the group.

Estimates suggest that a Tote sale could add between £300m-£400m to the public coffers.

It is believed that Goldman Sachs has received more than 30 expressions of interests for the betting chain, which runs more than 500 shops across the country's racing courses.

Names in the frame for the sale are thought to be a Gala Coral-led consortium, the Jockey Club and Sportech, the firm behind Littlewoods Pools, and Cenkos, the City brokerage run by racehorse owner Andy Stewart.

A Goldman Sachs spokesman declined to comment.