Casino Investors Score BigPublished April 11, 2006 by OCR Editor
Bet Fair, the online casino group that signed a deal with Softbank, is fast emerging as one of the most successful new companies in Britain.
In last week's deal which was finalized, Softbank has bought a 23 per cent stake in the company for £355m. It values Bet Fair - which was launched just six years ago - at £1.54bn. Softbank has also increased the company's net cash position from £80m to £125m. Of the £355m, about £45m will be invested directly in the company via new shares. A spokesperson for the group said that smaller investors have seen about a 130 percent return on their money!
Some analysts feel that within a year, the investors will decide to float the company. One of the managers of Bet Fair said that at present, the management feels that the company will be able to grow better privately and without major internal turmoil. It is solid and if they decided to launch it on the stock exchange it will be after some serious considerations.