CVC walks away after improved Betfair bid rejected

Betfair sponsor snooker's World Championships. Picture: PA
Betfair sponsor snooker's World Championships. Picture: PA
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BID interest in gambling group Betfair ended yesterday after a consortium failed to tempt the company’s board with two improved offers.

The final proposal from the group, led by private equity firm CVC, valued Betfair at £980 million, an increase of 8 per cent on its initial approach last month.

Under the chairmanship of former Railtrack boss Gerald Corbett, Betfair’s board rejected CVC’s “full and final offer” on valuation grounds and said it was making “excellent progress” under new chief executive Breon Corcoran.

Corbett added: “The board remains confident in the continued delivery of this strategy and the company’s outlook and growth prospects.”

CVC confirmed its interest in Betfair had ended after Monday night’s passing of a Takeover Panel deadline for it to table a formal offer. Its opening approach valued the firm at 880p a share, equivalent to £910m, well below Betfair’s stock market debut at 1,300p in 2010.

A revised bid worth 920p was tabled on Friday evening before CVC increased the stakes with 950p a share on Sunday evening – the day before the Takeover Panel’s “put up or shut up” deadline for the talks to complete.

CVC’s interest in the betting firm was in conjunction with other investors, including existing Betfair shareholder and

entrepreneur Richard Koch.