Private Equity Buys Punters’ Bible

Mergers watchdog clears Racing Post sale

Smanga on Racing PostThe State’s mergers watchdog has cleared the way for the Racing Post’s Irish owners to sell the paper to private equity player, Exponent.

Exponent agreed to buy Stradbrook, the owner of the punters’ bible, last June, but the deal required the approval of the Republic’s Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, which automatically scrutinises all media mergers.

On Friday the commission confirmed that it has approved the sale to Exponent-controlled Fence Bidco on the basis that “it will not substantially lessen competition in any market for goods or services in the State”.

About 20 individual shareholders, many of them Irish, own Stradbrook, including the Racing Post’s chief executive, Alan Byrne.

Two years ago Stradbrook bought the Racing Post’s debt back from the special liquidators of the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation, the State entity that took over the old Anglo Irish Bank.

The Racing Post is a daily that covers Irish, British and European horse and dog racing as well as other sports. It publishes an Irish edition from offices in Dublin.

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