Wednesday, October 03, 2007

RACING POST SALE Trinity Mirror sells the UK's premier racing newspaper to an Irish investment firm for £170m

Racing Post under new ownership after £170m deal by Andrew Scutts

THE Racing Post has a new owner. The newspaper and associated businesses were bought on Monday for £170 million by FL Partners, a Dublin-based private equity investment firm.

The purchase from Trinity-Mirror includes, three weekly titles (Racing & Football Outlook, Raceform Update and Racing Post Weekender), plus the Betting Shop Display, and publications under the Raceform banner.

In a meeting with staff on Monday at a hotel near the company's Canary Wharf, London, headquarters, the new owners unveiled plans to "invest significant resources" in developing the business, focusing on additional online and multimedia services, and expansion into new markets.

Alan Byrne, former editor of the Racing Post, has been appointed chief executive and editor-in-chief with immediate effect.

Peter Crowley and Neill Hughes, the principals of FL Partners, will be joint-chairmen of the Racing Post.

Crowley said: "This is a great day for the Racing Post, its readers and staff, because we are passionate about racing and have a real commitment to maximising the potential of this business.

"We are particularly delighted to have secured Alan's involvement, and his appointment is the clearest sign that FL Partners is a serious, long-term builder of this business, determined to add value for readers, advertisers and, ultimately, our investor base."

Byrne, 45, edited the Racing Post from November 1993 to January 2002, and in 1998 supervised the merger of the newspaper with The Sporting Life.

He said: "It's a great thrill to return. Everyone in the racing, bloodstock and betting industries relies on the Racing Post as the definitive source of data and quality editorial coverage. It is our job now to ensure that it meets and exceeds their expectations."

Brough Scott, who helped found the Racing Post in 1986, added: "This is a day all of us at the Racing Post have been waiting for.

"We are going to have an independent paper focused on serving the racing industry, and a business that can be developed for the multimedia era."




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