There are 2 significant reasons behind the present delay.
- The ongoing uncertainty caused by Brexit
- The ongoing Rent Review arbitration process at Lord’s
Firstly, our advisors are struggling with designing a correct regulatory framework. Simply put, we don’t know whether we are going to be operating with existing EU rules, or whether we will be operating with different rules post-Brexit. This will in turn affect how we will be able to offer our products to customers in other countries which are important to us such as India, Sri Lanka and Australia. Each country operates with different rules and regulations. We need to be sure whether they will be operating with a EU regulatory counter party or a UK body. Once this has been settled we will then we need to build the legal documentation and prospectus etc. to reflect the future relationship.
The second delay we face is the uncertainty of the rent review. Until we know the outcome of the present arbitration, it is impossible to accurately document the income to be distributed to future token holders. I spoke to Charles Rifkind, who remains the current owner of the land at this stage, April 27th and he informed me that he is confident of a very significant uplift in rent. This would have the effect of altering both the pricing of the land and the negotiating position regarding any future development. A high annual rent demand on the MCC would surely provide fertile ground for new and more fruitful conversations about how best to utilise this valuable parcel of land.
To be continued
In conclusion, the resolution of the regulatory environment might take a further few months, while the rent review arbitrator was appointed April 27th and the result of his work is expected within 12 weeks. We remain confident that once these matters are settled then we will be able to offer this opportunity, so while it’s fair to say that we are presently having a delay and are stalled, we are certainly not out and remain confident that once these issues are resolved we will be able to continue with our long term ambitions.
We will provide another update at the end July.
David Gower O.B.E
Non-Executive Chairman, New Commonwealth