Racecourse Bond achieves £15m target and is extended by 10 days

17th May 2013

£45m Cheltenham Racecourse development concept

£45m Cheltenham Racecourse development concept

The Jockey Club, which owns racecourses including Aintree, Cheltenham, Epsom Downs and Newmarket as the largest commercial group in British horseracing, today announced it has achieved the £15m target for its Racecourse Bond in just over three weeks.

Capita Registrars confirmed the milestone – which amounts to the second-largest amount ever raised from an unlisted retail bond[1] in the UK – had been surpassed a day before the application window was due to close, with applications continuing to be received for the first retail bond in British sport.

 As a result of continued demand and a series of requests from potential investors, The Jockey Club today extended the application window for the Racecourse Bond by 10 days until Tuesday 28th May to accept further investments through www.racecoursebond.com and by post. Capita acts as registrars for the Racecourse Bond and can be
contacted Monday to Friday via 0871 664 0321. 

The innovative retail bond, which offers a five-year fixed term blend of 4.75% gross returns in cash and a further 3% interest in racing rewards for investments of between £2,000 and £100,000, needed to attract applications in excess of £5m in order to go ahead, with The Jockey Club initially aiming to raise around £15m in capital towards its planned £45m development at its flagship Cheltenham Racecourse.

Paul Fisher, Group Managing Director of Jockey Club Racecourses, said: 

"We're absolutely delighted to have beaten our target for The Jockey Club Racecourse Bond, which has raised highly-efficient funds for us to invest back into Britain's second biggest sport through the iconic development we're planning at Cheltenham Racecourse. 

"To raise more than £15m and counting in just three weeks from our first foray into consumer finance makes us incredibly proud and I look forward to repaying the trust racing fans and investors have shown in our Group. They have recognised we are a sound and growing business that has been at the heart of Britain's second biggest spectator sport for more than 260 years.

"We are big believers in innovation when we know it is the right thing to do, even if new approaches present a risk to reputation. We designed the Racecourse Bond as a specialist product for a racing audience and its unique combination of generous cash interest and racing rewards has proved a winner. So far 93% of applicants have taken up that full offer, with 7% applying to receive solely the generous 4.75% cash returns we guarantee for five years.

"We have agreed to extend the deadline for people to get involved because we've received a large number of requests to do so from interested investors and because the pace of applications has shown no sign in slowing.

"This bond offer has always been about raising significant capital towards the development of Cheltenham Racecourse while getting closer to our customers, so it would be a strange decision not to extend for a few more days when we have that option. It goes without saying those who applied during the stated window will not miss a single day's interest from our brief extension of the offer." 

Simon Bazalgette, Group Chief Executive of The Jockey Club and Chairman of Jockey Club Racecourses, said:

"Our mission is to act for the good of British racing at all times, so this is a great outcome for the sport and a sign of the trust racing fans place in The Jockey Club. I should like to thank all who have applied for our Racecourse Bond and look forward to extending our relationship with each as bondholders.

"A lot of credit for the success of this initiative must go to Paul Fisher, who has led the project, and to our Board of Stewards who fully supported the executive's proposal to launch the first retail bond in British sport.

"We will review what has worked particularly well in this process and if there is anything we can learn from. We'll take forward the lessons from this success into what we do in the future."

Racecourse Bond insights as of data at 5.30pm Thursday 16th May 2013:

  • The average amount invested in The Jockey Club Racecourse Bond has been approximately £11,000 per person
  • Investments have ranged from £2,000 to the maximum £100,000 amount. The most common investment amount has been £10,000, followed by £5,000 and £2,000
  • 93% of applications are for the 4.75% gross returns in cash plus 3% racing  rewards, with 7% applying for just the cash element of the offer

[1] According to research by The Jockey Club Racecourse Bond advisors, based on reported amounts raised by unlisted UK retail bond offerings