Taupo Motorsport Park shareholders are due to approve the sale of Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park to Tony Quinn tomorrow; however, they have been met by a new hurdle.
The Taupo Car Club have asked for $450,000 from Taupo Motorsport Park (TMP) as a condition to their consent of the circuit’s sale to Keltic Motorsport, which Quinn owns.
In a statement issued by TMP to the Unlisted share trading platform, TMP says they will have to reduce the capital returned to circuit shareholders due to the Car Club’s demands.
Shareholders were initially expected to receive $1.01 per share once the sale process was complete.
Now, the requests of Taupo Car Club could mean that figure will drop to between $0.91 and $0.93 per share.
TMP and Taupo Car Club have not seen eye-to-eye for several years.
In 2005, a long-term agreement was passed to allow the Car Club to use the circuit without paying track hire fees.
However, both parties have since fallen out with each other. They have entered arbitration, which is currently paused at the Car Club’s request.
The Car Club has not held a meeting at the circuit for two and a half years.
Keltic Motorsport has already agreed to continue offering the Car Club the same deal to race for free at the circuit as part of its condition of sale.
The TMP statement says the Car Club will be pushing for more money if the Park disputes the claim.
However, Taupo Car Club President Terry O’Brien tells Velocity News that those claims are untrue.
O’Brien had no comment on the potential sale of the circuit but emphasised he believes the $450,000 the club is demanding is a reasonable demand.
TMP’s statement says the Car Club effectively holds a veto on the sale of the circuit. This is because the Car Club must discontinue its arbitration with TMP for the deal to go ahead.
TMP chair Chris Abbott told Velocity News he is disappointed by the Car Club’s demands, but even more so with the timing.
The TMP Board received its letter from the Car Club demanding the $450,000 on Monday.
Abbott says he couldn’t understand where the Car Club modelled their demand from when they are owed essentially nothing.
The most recent indication of the circuit’s purchasing price is $7.10million for the circuit’s assets and businesses.
Quinn already owns Hampton Downs and Highlands Motorsport Park. If tomorrow’s sale goes ahead, Taupo will be his third circuit in New Zealand.