Betfair Online Betting Exchange IPO Coming?

Published Monday, August 24, 2009 - Online-Casinos.com

Betfair is in the news these days with rumours surfacing that the company will be offering a substantial IPO in the near future. MarketWatch reporter Simon Kennedy recently wrote U.K. online gambling group Betfair may launch a 1.5 billion pound ($2.5 billion) initial public offering that could be a platform for consolidation in the sector if U.S. gambling restrictions are lifted.

The company denied a story in the UK's Daily Telegraph newspaper that it would be floating on the stock exchange in the coming months, Betfair managing director Mark Davies dismissing the story as "just speculation".

The company's founders Ed Wray and Andrew "Bertie" Black who still own 25% of the firm will meet with banking advisers from Credit Suisse over the coming weeks to discuss what would be the U.K.'s first major listing since the global financial crisis hit, the Sunday Telegraph reported.

Betfair reported revenues up 27 per cent at £303m in the year to April 30 while earnings grew 29 per cent to £72m. Strong speculation comes when a company like Betfair does so well in such a short time. Investors like Japanese bank Softbank which holds approximately 25% with management and private-equity investors owning the rest are keen to realise their investment, and a flotation would allow it to do that. However, the company could also find a strategic investor or tap its existing shareholders for fresh cash should it need to do so.

The company is which is based in Hammersmith West London England has already made it's move into the USA with it's offering of online wagering on the horses in that jurisdiction. Betfair claims to have over two million customers and a turnover in excess of £50m per week mostly in the U.K. Betfair has managed to overcome resistance to enter several overseas markets most notably in Australia.

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