The two final bidders for the Tote have offered about £200m for the state-owned bookmaker and vied to win over a powerful racing lobby that has a say in who buys it.
Sports Investment Partners (SIP), the vehicle of British Airways' chairman Sir Martin Broughton, said it would give the horseracing industry a 10 per cent stake in the business and offer "racing friendly investors", such as owners, breeders, trainers and racecourses a further 25 per cent shareholding. SIP plans to float the Tote on the AIM if successful.
Rival Betfred, Britain's fourth-biggest bookmaker, said its 40 years in the sports betting business put it in a strong position to unlock value in the Tote.
The £200m is in line with what analysts had expected and is about half the price Britain tried unsuccessfully to sell the company for five years ago.