Anthony Stroud to Take Over Running BBA

Anthony Stroud, a successful British-based bloodstock agent, is to take over responsibility for the British Bloodstock Agency's bloodstock agency business worldwide starting April 1.

The agreement between Stroud and the BBA was announced Feb. 4, and will involve the business operating from Stroud Bloodstock's present premises at Wickhambrook near Newmarket, England.

Stroud is in his third year by himself after serving as racing manager for Sheikh Mohammed for 14 years, and a director of Curragh Bloodstock Agency for five years.

"This is going to open a number of markets which in the past wouldn't have had any contact with and create a bigger challenge to what I am already doing," Stroud said. "The British Bloodstock Agency is a very good name and stands for integrity, goodwill, and expertise and I see the agreement as an opportunity to capitalize on it."

Simon Hayes, the BBA chief executive, explained that his board decided the bloodstock agency was not an appropriate business for the stockmarket-quoted company and this deal returns it to the private sector.

"The BBA has been around for 90 years and has a fantastic name and reputation and Anthony Stroud is one of the premier professionals in the business so it is a sensible marriage," Hayes said.

"Hopefully, he can take the business forward. It is entirely appropriate that when people think of the BBA, they will think of Anthony Stroud and good positive things, and they won't think of public companies and shareholders.

The BBA has already announced that it wants to change its name at some point before September to Newmarket Investments. Its major remaining assets are property ones, including the Newmarket headquarters Queensberry House, though it still wholly owns the BBA Stallion Department, run by Martin Percival, and marketing operation Barnes Thompson, and holds a 25% stake in BBA Shipping and Transport which is headed by Kevin Needham, who now owns the other 75%.

Hayes added: "We are obviously investigating all the ways of maximizing the value of the properties. We are recommending changing the name to Newmarket Investments which will reflect the fact that it is going to be a broader company, with a wider range of activities."

A shareholder's revolt in March last year led to Hayes taking over the running of the BBA and since then the company's Irish wing has gone for £2 million to its management in a deal led by Adrian Nicoll. The insurance arm was purchased for £965,000 by Hamilton and partners.