CVC granted more time for Betfair bid

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A VENTURE capital firm has been given a 24-hour extension by regulators as it pulls together its bid for online gambling exchange Betfair.

CVC Partners, owner of Formula One, had initially been given a “put up or shut up” deadline for 5pm last night by the Takeover Panel.

Betfair said it had asked the panel for an extension until the market closes today.

The board of Betfair rebuffed an 880p-a-share offer last month, which valued the London-based company at £910 million, a price which it said “fundamentally undervalued” it.

CVC, which has paired up with its shareholders Antony Ball and Richard Koch to form a consortium, is understood to be sounding out investors over a revised approach for the FTSE-250 company at slightly less than 1,000p a share.

Last week, Betfair’s chief executive Breon Corcoran was thought to have strengthened its hand after he revealed that trading in recent months had been much better than expected.

Betfair’s statement last night said that, by the new deadline, “either the co-offerors will announce that they do not intend to make an offer for Betfair or the company will seek a further extension of the deadline… At the end of this period, there is no certainty that an offer for Betfair will be made, nor as to the terms of any such offer [if made].”

If CVC does not meet the panel’s deadline, it will be forced to walk away from a potential deal for six months.

CVC declined to comment.