The Reuben brothers are thought to be behind a lower-than-expected bid offer for Northern Racing, which owns nine racecourses, including Chepstow and Uttoxeter. Financial Times.

The board announced yesterday that it was in exclusive talks with a mystery potential bidder over a possible cash offer of no more than 200p a share, sending share price plunging 39p to 203.5p. The 200p-a-share offer represents a discount of 17% to Northern’s previous closing of 240p.

The Reubens are thought to want to merge Northern Racing with Arena Leisure, which owns seven racecourses, including Doncaster, home of the St Leger flat race.

They are thought to own a 3.2% stake in Northern Racing through a vehicle called Warley Associates, in addition to controlling 14% of Arena.

Greg Feehely, analyst at Altium Securities, said there would be potential to sell some of the property, possibly for residential development.