South African horseracing and tote betting operator Phumelela Gaming and Leisure Limited has reportedly turned down a rescue deal that was to have seen giant British bookmaker Betfred purchase its entire business for approximately $55.6 million.

According to a short report from Gambling Insider, the Johannesburg-headquartered firm has instead opted to accept an earlier offer from one of its largest creditors, private equity investor Mary Oppenheimer Daughters, that will involve it receiving just over $28.8 million in exchange for its assets and large shareholding in local horseracing broadcaster Phumelela Gold International Limited.

Considerable commitment:

Gambling Insider reported that the rescue deal may eventually end up costing Mary Oppenheimer Daughters as much as $55.3 million with the London-based investments firm having already supplied Phumelela Gaming and Leisure Limited with a loan valued at around $6 million. The source detailed that the plan moreover guarantees that the South African firm’s current creditors will receive a minimum of $33 million, which equates to a 72% assurance as opposed to the full promise earlier pledged by Betfred.

Coronavirus cancellations:

Phumelela Gaming and Leisure Limited is responsible for four horseracing facilities in South Africa including the prestigious Turffontein Racecourse but is reportedly struggling to cope with a debt of over $36 million as well as the recent coronavirus-related suspension of its domestic racing calendar. Betfred, which is led by billionaire British businessman Fred Done (pictured), had purportedly furthermore earlier offered to supply the besieged operator with a loan worth as much as $39 million that was to be utilized to satisfy its considerable shortfall.