Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Lewis rides again

I read that Joe Lewis, the country's ninth richest man, is working on a takeover bid for Alphameric.
That's the listed technology company that also owns a 50% stake in Turf TV, a joint-venture broadcast service with a consortium of 31 racecourses, that beams live racing footage from the top UK courses into bookmakers' shops.
The bookies have always hated Turf TV - which competes with the Ladbrokes- and William Hill-owned rival, SIS - and the new service's creation triggered a number of lengthy legal battles (eventually won by the Turf TV stable).
Still, there are a couple of intriguing points about Lewis's interest not mentioned in today's Telegraph report.
First, Joe Lewis is still thought to be a sizeable Ladbrokes shareholder; and second, the JV deal covering Turf TV contains a change of control clause that allows the racecourses to buy 100% of the broadcasting service if Alphameric gets takenover.

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