Wembley gets new offer for US assets
Wednesday 09 February 2005
Taking on Wembley's troubled US business, which is in the midst of fighting bribery allegations in a US court, is BLB, a consortium backed by the South African gambling magnate, Sol Kerzner. BLB has returned to the table to buy Wembley's Lincoln Park gaming resort in Rhode Island after appearing to have secured support for the deal from local politicians.
The consortium had been in pole position to acquire the entire Wembley group last year when it outbid MGM Mirage, the Las Vegas casinos giant. But at the final furlong, BLB walked away from a 860p-a-share takeover because of uncertainty over whether it would get a long-term licence for Lincoln Park and a revenue-sharing agreement with the state authorities.
The Lincoln Park resort is at the centre of a high-profile court case involving its former chief executive, Nigel Potter. He is standing trial, alongside the Lincoln Park subsidiary and its managing director, Daniel Bucci, on corruption charges. They are accused of attempting to bribe their US law firm to win the group permission to install more video slot machines. Mark Elliott, the chief executive and former finance director, appeared in the witness box on Friday and was quizzed on the company's budget for legal payments.
Wembley and the individuals involved deny the allegations, but $16m has been ring-fenced to meet any liabilities arising from the trial. BLB's takeover is not conditional on its outcome. Should Wembley lose the case, it is likely to lose its operating licence.
BLB came back to Linoln Park after Donald Carcieri, the Rhode Island Governor, and other senior state politicians indicated they would back a long-term revenue-sharing deal with BLB. If this can be agreed, the takeover will go ahead and Lincoln Park will stay open. Claes Hultman, the chairman of Wembley, said, "This is a positive step towards the maximisation of value for shareholders."
The sale of the US unit leaves Wembley with only its UK dog tracks. A separate auction for its remaining assets has begun.
- 1 Michelle Rodriguez: Fast & Furious actor apologises after telling 'minorities' to stop taking on 'white' roles
- 2 Raif Badawi, the Saudi Arabian blogger sentenced to 1,000 lashes, may now face the death penalty
- 3 PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
- 4 Robert Mugabe eats a zoo for 'obscene' 91st birthday party
- 5 The remarkable archaeological underwater discovery that could open up a new chapter in the study of European and British prehistory
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how the Corporation is funded
Stephen Hawking's wife Jane Wilde on their marriage breakdown: 'The family were left behind'
Raif Badawi, the Saudi Arabian blogger sentenced to 1,000 lashes, may now face death penalty
PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
Russia's roadmap for annexing eastern Ukraine 'leaked from Vladimir Putin's office'
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin and says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'
iJobs Money & Business
£40000 - £50000 per annum + pro rata: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...
£30000 - £37000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Established in 1999, a highly r...
£250-£300 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Are you a qualified accountant with strong exp...
£230 - £260 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Do you want to stamp your footprint in histo...