Paddy Power plc has purchased the remaining 39.2% minority shareholdings in Sportsbet Pty Limited for US$134 million.
Paddy Power completed the acquisition of its initial 51% shareholding in Sportsbet in July 2009. Sportsbet subsequently acquired International All Sports Limited in October 2009 and Paddy Power increased its stake in Sportsbet to 60.8% in February 2010. Under the terms of the original acquisition, Paddy Power held a call option to increase its shareholding in Sportsbet to 100%, exercisable in either 2012 or 2013.
Paddy Power is the largest provider of online betting and gaming services in Ireland and a leading provider of such services in the UK. Operations are divided between online, retail and telephone services to customers in Ireland and the UK. The acquisition of the remaining 39.2% of Sportsbet now provides Paddy Power with increased exposure to the growing regulated Australian online market and the opportunity to take complete control of the business, drive development and investment and secure full participation in the anticipated upside of this business.
Commenting on the acquisition, Patrick Kennedy, Paddy Power's Chief Executive, said: "When we acquired 51% of Sportsbet in 2009, we were confident that we were investing in a business with strong potential in a growing market. The team has made great strides in marrying the best of both Sportsbet and Paddy Power. This is a good deal to acquire the remaining shares early, which will allow us to drive development and investment and secure full participation in the upside of the business."
Sportsbet Pty Limited is an Australian licensed sports bookmaker. It accepts wagers on Australian and international horse, harness and greyhound racing as well as all types of local and international sporting, political and entertainment events.
Oaklins' team in Ireland advised Paddy Power plc on the acquisition process, having also advised the company on its initial majority stake acquisition in 2009 alongside Oaklins' team in Australia in an excellent example of seamless service by Oaklins' teams. By virtue of the size of the transaction and also because the deal involved related parties, Paddy Power plc was required to obtain shareholder approval in accordance with the Irish and UK Listing Rules. Oaklins' Irish team acted as sponsor to Paddy Power plc in this regard and the acquisition was overwhelmingly approved.
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