Wembley gets new offer for US assets

WEMBLEY, THE gaming group which used to own the football stadium, has agreed to sell its US interests for $339m (pounds 182m) in cash in a deal that values its shares at about 840p each.

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.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooksA celebration of British elections
Arts and Entertainment
Billie Piper as Brona in Penny Dreadful
tvReview: It’s business as usual in Victorian London. Let’s hope that changes as we get further into the new series spoiler alert
Life and Style
A nurse tends to a recovering patient on a general ward at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham
Fans take a selfie with Ed Miliband in Kempston, near Bedford, on Tuesday
election 2015
Arts and Entertainment
No Offence
tvReview: No Offence has characters who are larger than life and yet somehow completely true to life at the same time spoiler alert
Chuck Norris pictured in 1996
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Guru Careers: Project Manager / Business Analyst

£40-50k + Benefits.: Guru Careers: A Project Manager / Business Analyst is nee...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Swiss Banking and Finance

£20000 - £25000 per annum + Uncapped commission: SThree: Can you speak German,...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Executive - 6 month FTC - Central London

£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An exciting opportunity f...

Ashdown Group: Junior Project Manager (website, web application) - Agile

£215 per day: Ashdown Group: Junior Project Manager (website, web application ...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power