CVC Ends Pursuit of Betfair After Bids Rejected

Betfair and CVC Capital Partners have ended takeover discussions after the private equity firm said it would not make a third revised offer for the online gambling company, Reuters reports.

(Reuters) – Betfair and CVC Capital Partners have ended takeover discussions after the private equity firm said it would not make a third revised offer for the online gambling company.

CVC and its consortium partners Richard Koch and Antony Ball had raised their offer twice from the 880 pence per share it proposed on April 22.

Betfair said it received a revised offer of 920 pence on May 10 which it rejected. Then on May 12, CVC again increased its offer to 950 pence per share, valuing the company at 988 million pounds ($1.52 billion).

Betfair’s board rejected the revised proposal that evening, but indicated it would consider an improved proposal.

“The Board has spent considerable time assessing the various proposals, including detailed discussions with the Co-offerors,” Gerald Corbett, Chairman of Betfair said in a statement.

“The Board concluded that none of the proposals represented adequate value or acceptable execution risk.”
CVC had been given an extra 24 hours to commit a firm bid after a 1600 GMT Monday deadline lapsed, but said on Tuesday morning that it would not be making a revised offer.

“The Consortium confirms it has been unable to agree financial terms with the board of Betfair and as a result has no intention of making an offer for Betfair,” it said in a statement.

Betfair’s technology allows gamblers to bet online against one another at their own prices. It is also offering more conventional sports betting with odds set centrally to compete with rivals in an expanding yet highly competitive sector.

Since Betfair listed in 2010, the stock has tumbled from its debut price of 13 pounds. Analysts said the company had failed to clearly identify whether it was a technology or gambling business.

Under Chief Executive Breon Corcoran, who joined from Irish bookmaker Paddy Power last year, Betfair has withdrawn from markets such as Greece and Germany, where regulations are not clear cut or tax rates are punitive, and has cut 500 jobs to help save 30 million pounds in costs.

Betfair stock, which was trading at 700 pence before CVC said on April 15 it was considering a bid, closed on Monday at 895 pence.