Sunday 16 December 2018

Paddy Power Betfair commences share buyback programme

Photo: Caroline Quinn
Photo: Caroline Quinn
Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

Gambling giant Paddy Power Betfair will today to begin the first £200m (€229m) tranche of the share buyback programme it announced at the time of its first quarter trading update earlier this month.

The buyback programme will run from today and continue for three months, subject to market conditions, the company said in a statement.

It is intended that ordinary shares may be repurchased on both the London Stock Exchange and the Irish Stock Exchange.

The purpose of the share buyback programme is to reduce the company's share capital.

The announcement today does not come as a surprise given the group had announced this with its first quarter trading update. At the time, Paddy Power Betfair outlined that over the next 12-18 months it intended to return £500m cash to shareholders.

Goldman Sachs has been selected to repurchase the shares.

Earlier this month Paddy Power Betfair confirmed that it had entered an agreement to combine its US business ("Betfair US") with FanDuel, a US daily fantasy sports operator.

The move comes in the immediate wake of a US Supreme Court ruling which earlier this month struck down a federal law that has severely restricting sports betting there since 1992.

FanDuel has over 40pc market share of the US daily fantasy sports market, with seven million registered customers across 40 states.

In 2017, it had revenue of $124m and 1.3 million active customers.

Headquartered in New York, FanDuel has built-up a leading US sports brand with approximately $400m cumulative marketing spend to date supported by innovative proprietary technology.

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