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Online gambling site Betfair launches IPO

Betfair, the world’s largest online betting website, has launched an initial public offering of shares on the main market of the London Stock Exchange which, at a share price of 13 pounds ($20.41), values the company at 1.39 billion pounds ($2.18 billion). Betfair was initially funded by European venture capital firm Balderton, which sold a large part of its stake to Japanese holding company Softbank, which paid £355 million ($554 million). Softbank currently owns 23% of Betfair while Balderton holds a 7% stake.

PRESS RELEASE

Balderton Capital, the leading European venture capital firm, congratulates Betfair, the world’s largest international online sports betting provider, on its initial public offering of shares on the main market of the London Stock Exchange.

Betfair priced its shares this morning at GBP13.00 valuing the company at approximately GBP1.39bn.

Tim Bunting, partner at Balderton Capital, said: “Balderton Capital backs companies and entrepreneurs with a sustainable competitive edge and Betfair is a perfect example of this. We wish the business continued success as a publicly-listed company, and would like to congratulate the founders and management team on building one of the UK’s biggest internet success stories.”

Balderton’s original investment in Betfair was made in 2000 and it remains one of the largest institutional shareholders post the listing. The partners have been actively involved in the development of the business since its formation and Tim Bunting served as chairman in 2006.

Betfair has pioneered online person-to-person sports betting by developing the Betting Exchange, a market place that allows consumers to bet at odds sought by themselves or offered by other customers and thereby eliminating the need for a traditional bookmaker. The Betting Exchange has fundamentally changed the sports betting markets by offering customers better pricing and more choice and flexibility.

Headquartered in the UK, Betfair now employs more than 2000 people globally and processes more than 5 million transactions per day – more than all of Europe’s stock exchanges combined. Betfair has twice been named the UK’s “Company of the Year” by the CBI and has won two Queen’s Awards for Enterprise.