Mayfair tempts horse racing TV investors to sell

 
Michael Bow
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TOTTENHAM Hotspur’s owner Joe Lewis yesterday moved to boost his sporting investment empire by bidding to buy the company which beams horse racing TV footage into betting shops.

Mayfair Capital Investments, Lewis’s fund management business, said it had put in an offer to increase its 29.99 per cent stake in Timeweave – which part owns bookies’ horse racing TV channel TurfTV – to 100 per cent.

Lewis has offered investors, including Goldman Sachs, Leo Fund Managers and GAM International Management, 22p a share in cash, valuing the company at £49.6m.

Fund manager Henderson, which owned 15.80 per cent of the firm, has already promised to sell its stake to Mayfair, putting Lewis’s current holding up to 45.79 per cent.

Timeweave owns 50 per cent of Amalgamated Racing, a broadcaster with exclusive footage rights to 34 racecourses around the UK and Ireland through the Turf TV channel.

Mayfair told shareholders it did not believe Timeweave was “suitable to be a publicly traded company” and was offering remaining investors an escape route.

Lewis, who made his money in currency trading before becoming a tax exile in the Bahamas, has offered investors a substantial premium. Shares in Timeweave are currently priced at 18.98p on a three month weighted average.

Timeweave also has stakes in DCD Media, a production company, and SportingWins, a financial company which hedges risks for companies with money staked on the results of sporting events. Turf TV is shown in nearly 10,000 betting shops in the UK.

Mayfair said it would remove Timeweave from its listing on Aim if the deal is completed.

ADVISERS INVESTEC AND DICKSON MINTO

ANDREW PINDER
INVESTEC

Timeweave is being advised on the deal to take the firm into Joe Lewis’s hands by Investec’s director of investment banking for technology, media and telecoms Andrew Pinder.

Pinder has a strong technology and banking background having previously worked at Soundview Technology Group, as investment adviser and corporate finance adviser, and Dresdner Kleinwort Benson. His speciality is the TMT sector and he has an extensive track record advising private equity firms, which will stand him in good stead in the approach from Mayfair. Originally qualifying as a chartered accountant in 1999 with PricewaterhouseCoopers, he went on to work at Evolution Securities later in his career.

Pinder led the team advising on a £20m tie-up between Giles Redpath and Euphony Holdings and the £30m buy out of Intrinsic Technology by RJD Partners.

Joe Lewis’s Mayfair Capital Investments is being advised by corporate law firm Dickson Minto, which has a prior relationship with Lewis. The group previously advised on Lewis’s attempt to take control of Mitchells & Butlers through his Piedmont investment vehicle in 2011, even though the deal eventually broke down.