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Greyhounds: Tracks sold in new deal.

MORGAN Grenfell Private Equity (MGPE), part of the Deutsche Bank Group, one of the world's largest financial institutions, is the new owner of Coral and, thus, now takes over their tracks at Hove and Romford.

MGPE paid pounds 390m for the Coral Group from Ladbrokes, who were forced to sell the rival bookmaking firm following a Monopolies and Mergers Commission inquiry. Ladbrokes had paid pounds 363m for Coral last year.

The deal includes Coral betting shops, their credit and phone-betting operation and two greyhound tracks.

Jonathan Derry-Evans, anMGPE director, said: "MGPE has been involved in many high profile buy-outs and we either float them on the stock exchange, in which the ownership goes into the public hands, or else we sell them to trade buyers.

"In terms of Coral, I think the route is very much flotation and that is what we would aim to do in around three to five years."

Staff at Romford and Hove have been informed of developments but it is `business as usual' at the two venues. One insider said: "We're in the middle of a busy period, both tracks are doing well and we are just going to try to keep up the good work.

"We'll see what the future holds."
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Dec 23, 1998
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