Internet exchange Betfair seeks London listing in growth drive
BETFAIR, the world's biggest Internet betting exchange, has confirmed plans to list on the London Stock Exchange, saying the move will help develop its international operations.
Betfair, which competes with Dermot Desmond's Betdaq, said it will continue to pursue growth internationally, where its market presence is currently lower than in Britain.
It highlighted Europe and Australia as key future growth markets, with development opportunities in the longer term seen in the United States, India and China.
Betfair was launched 10 years ago by Andrew Black, a former professional gambler, and former JP Morgan trader Edward Wray, who jointly own one-quarter of the group. Betfair, which is strong in soccer, is believed to have held takeover talks with Betdaq, which is strong in horse racing, in April 2007 but the exploratory contacts did not progress.
The company cuts out traditional bookmakers by matching individual gamblers.
"Betfair has delivered sustained revenue growth and continued profitability, and this success, along with our debt-free balance sheet, underpins our confidence to continue investing in the many opportunities we see before us for the long-term success of the business," Chief Executive David Yu said in a statement yesterday.
"The company is a leader in its field and will provide a very interesting investment opportunity," said Davy analyst Simon McGrotty. "We believe that the company will commence its pre-IPO marketing roadshow during the week starting October 4, with trading expected to commence two weeks later."