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Auckland Clubs Approve Amalgamation In Watershed Deal For The Racing Industry

Members of the Auckland Racing Club (ARC) have voted overwhelmingly in favour of ARC and Counties Racing Club (CRC) amalgamating into a new combined club, named Auckland Thoroughbred Racing Incorporated.

Last week’s ARC member vote followed CRC’s similarly conclusive member approval of the amalgamation earlier in the week. The amalgamated club will have assets north of $130m.

The amalgamation, which comes into effect from 1 August 2021, will bring significant benefits to the clubs including the realisation of combined land assets, on a co-ordinated basis, to ensure that proceeds are maximised and reinvested into the industry.

Chapman Tripp, led by consultant Barry Brown and assisted by solicitor Liam Stoneley, are advising ARC on all aspects of the amalgamation, including assisting both clubs to gain the requisite approvals needed from the industry’s regulator, New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing (NZTR). Chapman Tripp partner Bevan Miles led the firm’s experts providing tax advice to ARC.

In granting approval for the amalgamation, NZTR expressed its appreciation for the assistance provided by the firm in progressing ARC and CRC’s application which “had been of considerable help to NZTR”.

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Describing the amalgamation as a “forward-thinking, innovative, and courageous” proposal, NZTR noted that the amalgamation will secure racing’s future in the Auckland region.

ARC’s Chief Executive Paul Wilcox said, “The Chapman Tripp team’s assistance with the amalgamation, in a revolutionary structure for the industry, was invaluable and helped achieve an extremely successful outcome for ARC. We’re particularly grateful for their pragmatic, collaborative and client-focused approach, which was instrumental in both clubs securing a successful outcome from NZTR and members”.

CRC Chairman, Mark Chitty has said that the amalgamation is a game-changer for thoroughbred racing.

“This marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter for our industry. The amalgamated club will be aiming to double average stakes money per race to $100,000 to retain industry participants and attract young people into the industry,” says Chitty.

Senior Associate Robbie Bennett and Senior Solicitor Conor Tinker added further strength to the Chapman Tripp team assisting with the amalgamation.

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