Broughton secures backing for Tote bid

THE deputy chairman of British Airways’ newly formed owner, Sir Martin Broughton, has lined up support for his bid to buy state-owned bookmaker the Tote.

The former Liverpool football club chairman, who has been a racehorse owner for many years, has received backing from Penta Capital, a buyout firm.

The Glasgow-based investor, which has stakes in the insurer Esure and Eat sandwich shops, will underwrite Broughton’s bid, according to reports.

Fully funded offers for the bookmaker must be received by the middle of next month.

The Tote, which has a monopoly on pool betting in Britain, and also owns nearly 550 betting shops, is being sold by the government as part of plans to reduce the deficit.

It could fetch as much as £225m, with half of the proceeds to be ploughed back into the racing industry.

Other bidders for the business include betting groups Gala Coral and Betfred, as well as the billionaire Reuben brothers.

Investment bank Lazard is running the sale process.