‘Racing Post’ bidder withdraws, blames limited information

Process intended to yield value for taxpayer, says Anglo liquidator

A bidder for the Racing Post has withdrawn from the sale of the title's €200 million debt and criticised the handling of the sale by Anglo Irish Bank's special liquidator.

Tim Hailstone, a veteran British publisher who was backed in his bid by private equity giant Apollo, said he decided not to proceed with bidding because he was denied access to up-to-date financial information about the print and online title.

Mr Hailstone told the Times in London: "There was only a very limited amount of information being provided about the business that supports this debt and I thought it would be difficult to get a financial backer to support a binding bid for the assets without that information."

Mr Hailstone previously was managing director with Virgin Publishing, a Richard Branson company. He made a significant fortune during his time with the Stationary Office, one of the largest publishers by volume in Britain.

He did not respond to requests for further comment yesterday.

Sold by liquidator

The Racing Post's debts are being sold by KPMG which is the special liquidator of IBRC, formerly Anglo Irish Bank, which has been charged by the State with trying to sell its entire loan book.

The joint special liquidators of IBRC, Kieran Wallace and Eamonn Richardson of KPMG, said: "The sales processes that have been employed by the special liquidators have been designed and continue to maximise value from the sale of IBRC loan assets for creditors."

A previous attempt to sell the debts of the Racing Post was aborted when bids failed to reach an independent minimum reserve price.

Last Friday was a closing date in this latest round of bidding for the Racing Post. FL Partners, the current owner of the title, is among the bidders for the title's debt.