After progressing to the last stage of negotiations with Taupo Motorsport Park, Tony Quinn’s bid to purchase the circuit has faltered within sight of the chequered flag.
Quinn’s company, Keltic Motorsport, had a standing bid of $7.1million for the venue’s assets and businesses. Earlier this month it was revealed that Quinn’s bid had been approved by the circuit’s directors.
All Quinn required to complete the sale was the support of the track’s shareholders. The shareholders met at the circuit’s annual general meeting today to vote on Quinn’s ownership takeover; ultimately voting against it, approximately 60 per cent to 40 per cent.
VelocityNews reported yesterday that late changes to the deal meant that that shareholders would be reimbursed a slightly reduced amount on a per-share basis; from $1.01 to approximately $0.92 per share.
This was a result of a request for $450,000 from the Taupo Car Club, as a condition to their consent of the sale. Speaking to VelocityNews, Taupo Car Club President Terry O’Brien says he doesn’t believe the move impacted the sale.
“Not at all,” he said. “The shareholders just could not be guaranteed about what they were getting out of the sale.”
O’Brien theorised that Quinn’s bid might’ve instead fallen out of favour due to the perceived implications of the formerly New Zealand-based Scotsman owning more than one of the North Island’s tracks.
“I don’t know what the primary reason is why people voted against the sale. But some didn’t want Quinn to hold a monopoly of two North Island circuits, ” O’Brien added.
“The Car Club spoke to the meeting in favour of the sale, and we were disappointed that it didn’t go ahead. [Quinn] is one of the only people with the money who could do wonders to the track and to Taupo.
“He said he would support existing racing at Taupo, including the Historic Grand Prix and grassroots racing with the Car Club.
“We feel it was a missed opportunity. I am not sure if he has a plan B, but hopefully there is.”