The following statement was issued jointly by Racing and the Tote on 11th November 1999:
The Tote and racing have reached agreement on a joint proposal to government relating to the future structure of the organisation. The proposed Racing Trust would safeguard racing’s vital source of income from the Tote, and also allow it to operate in a wholly commercial manner for the benefit of the sport.
The joint submission to government outlines a structure whereby:
* The Tote would be converted into a limited liability company, Tote plc.
* A Racing Trust would be created which would own 100% of the issued equity of the company.
* An Operating Board would run all Tote operations and report regularly to the Trustees.
* The licence to run pool betting on horseracing would be granted to Tote plc in perpetuity as long as the Racing Trust retains 100% of the issued equity.
* The price paid for Tote plc by the Racing Trust should be at a level which does not jeopardise either the ability of the Tote to invest in its future growth, or the Tote’s contribution to racing.
The Racing Trust would consist of eight Trustees, including an independent Chairman appointed by the other Trustees. One Trustee would be nominated by each of:
* The British Horseracing Board
* The Industry Committee (Horseracing) Ltd
* The Jockey Club
* The Racecourse Association
* The Racehorse Owners Association
* The Staff of the Tote.
An additional Trustee would be appointed, by a mechanism yet to be determined, to represent punters’ interests.
The Operating Board is likely to consist of up to eleven Directors, with a majority given to those who are non-executive. These, together with the Chairman, would be appointed by the Trustees. The first Chairman of Tote plc would be Peter Jones, whose initial appointment would be for three years. In recognition of the special working relationship between the Tote and racecourses, two of the non-executive Directors would be chosen from shortlists submitted by the Racecourse Association.
“”It has taken some hard negotiation to determine what was best for all parties. We are delighted that we have been able to secure the agreement of racing to a joint submission on the basis of a Racing Trust,”” said Peter Jones, Chairman of the Tote. “”It has always been our priority to achieve consensus about the best way forward and we hope the Government will look favourably on the structure we submitted to them today.””
BHB Chief Executive, Tristram Ricketts, echoed that belief: “”The overriding aim has always been to ensure that ownership of the Tote is secured for racing. The structure we have agreed with the Tote significantly increases the chances of achieving that aim.””