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Four potential bidders for Caymanas Track so far, relocation under consideration

Published:Thursday | June 18, 2015 | 12:35 PMTameka Gordon

Minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Finance and Planning, Horace Dalley, says bid documents have been issued to at least four potential investors in Caymanas Track Limited (CTL), operator of the Caymanas Park horse racing track.

The minister, who was speaking today at the second annual gaming industry summit stage by the Betting Gaming and Lotteries Commission (BGLC), said the bids are from both local and overseas entities.

The bidding remains open for another month.

“The deadline is for the 15th of July unless the government extends that deadline. That’s what we are working with,” Dalley told the Financial Gleaner. “There are bids from both local and overseas investors,” he said, but did not name them.

The Jamaican government has been trying to divest Caymanas Track for more than a decade. Dalley said the Finance Ministry is optimistic the current round of bids will see the offloading of the company.

He signalled that the race track could be relocated under a new owner.

“It is not an easy task because you have to have somebody who is willing to buy the assets or buy the track … that is why we have not objected to the relocation of the track,” he said. “But we gave some parameters,” the minister added without elaborating.

Dalley said that in the past, prospective buyers have asked to “build a new track down the road where there is land for more space,” but that the stakeholders are keen on having the horse track stay close to its current location.

All the assets of CTL and its promotional business are up for sale.

“We are optimistic that in this round it will be divested,” Dalley said.

The Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) is handling the divestment of CTL and the 198-acre Caymanas Park, along with an enterprise team chaired by banker Keith Duncan. The enterprise team was appointed by Minister of Finance Dr Peter Phillips in 2013.