South Africa

Absa throws Jooste's Mayfair Speculators a lifeline

2017-12-25 21:54
Markus Jooste at the recent Klawervlei breeders awards (Klawervlei.co.za)

Cape Town - Markus Jooste’s embattled racing company, Mayfair Speculators, has reached an agreement with its bankers over the future of its horses.

READ: Jooste's Mayfair Speculators sell Horse of the Year

Jooste, a horse breeder and racing fanatic, quit as Steinhoff International Holdings NV CEO earlier in the month after the discovery of suspected financial wrongdoing.

Shares in the global clothing and furniture retailer crashed 85% following the news, wiping a staggering €11bn (R176bn) from the value of the company.

The agreement comes despite Absa’s High Court bid on Friday to put the company into liquidation and freeze the assets being postponed until early 2018, writes the Sporting Post's Michael Clower.

Mayfair’s racing manager Derek Brugman said on Saturday: “I couldn’t say anything before this because my hands were tied but we have now made an agreement with the financiers that we can continue racing and continue selling the horses.”

Brugman said that “long term” the plan is to sell all the horses and added: “We have been given time by the financiers to sell them in a structured manner over a period of time. We are not in a fire-sale situation.”

Brugman also confirmed that dual Grade 1 winner Edict Of Nantes had been sold to Hong Kong last month. The four-year-old is second favourite for the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate on Saturday, January 6, 2018 and for the Sun Met on January 27, 2018, but has drifted in the market for the latter as doubts grow about him running in the R5 million spectacular as he may have to go into quarantine before this date.

Asked whether Edict Of Nantes was likely to run, Brugman would only say: “That is something for the new owners to comment on.”

Meanwhile, according to the Daily Dispatch the price paid for the four-year-old Edict Of Nantes was just under R10 million while numerous press reports have stated that the price paid by former Tekkie Town owner Braam van Huyssteen and his partners for Jooste’s best horse, Legal Eagle, was R3.2 million.

Legal Eagle is six-years-old, but he still has the rest of this season and all the next one before his powers really start to decline. He is officially the best in the country and is 11/10 favourite to collect R937 000 in the Queen’s Plate.

He is also favourite for the Sun Met whose first prize is nearly R3 million. Even if, as in the last two seasons, he comes up against a rival who stays the trip better than he does second place still pays R1 million.

Read more on:    markus jooste  |  horseracing
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