Associates of Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed al Maktoum have purchased America’s oldest thorougbred auction house, Fasig-Tipton Co. Ltd. Close on the heels of the sale of Australia’s Woodlands Stud to Sheikh Mohammed, Fasig-Tipton has been sold to the Dubai-based Synergy Investments Ltd, headed by Abdulla Al Habbai.
“We are delighted to be acquiring Fasig-Tipton,” Abdulla Al Habbai said in a statement. “The company has a long history of service to the North American thoroughbred industry and has demonstrated significant growth in recent years. We believe there is potential for continued growth and superior levels of service in the future.”
Boyd Browning, Fasig-Tipton’s executive vice president, said the company’s staff has been retained, and there should be few noticeable changes. The Lexington-based company, which holds auctions in various US racing and breeding centres has been trying to broaden its international appeal in recent years.
“Clearly, if you see the economic initiatives and progress that has occurred in Dubai the last 15 to 20 years, they’re spectacular,” Boyd Browning said. “It’s created some wealth and interest, and the thoroughbred industry has been the beneficiary of that.” Browning said the deal, which is expected to be completed in late May, was quick to materialize.
John Ferguson, Sheikh Mohammed’s most prominent thoroughbred buyer, is understood to have set the wheels in motion earlier this year. Fasig-Tipton chairman D.G. Van Clief said the company would continue to operate under the “principles of integrity, customer service and industry service” that have been stressed since the Hettinger family bought the company in 1991.
“Synergy Investments plans to devote future operating surpluses to higher levels of customer service and renewed efforts to promote North American racing and breeding,” John Ferguson said. Fasig-Tipton was established in 1898 by William B. Fasig and Edward A. Tipton. Its original headquarters was in New York, and the company established a permanent Lexington presence in 1972.
Extract from Stallions Daily Bulletin