IPO values Betfair at Â£1.4 billion
Online betting exchange giant Betfair has launched its long-awaited IPO on the London Stock Exchange, raising more than £200 million in a share sale that values the company at £1.4 billion.
The valuation, resulting from a sale of 15 percent of the London-based operator, which claims to be Europe’s largest online sports betting company with 2.5 million registered users, could land it in the FTSE 250 index of Britain’s largest companies.
Because Betfair does not set odds in competition with bettors it does not win money, per se, and therefore does not pay the country’s 15 percent tax on gross gambling revenue. It is a major sticking point with traditional bookmakers.
Betfair also figures prominently in an ongoing battle between betting and racing interests over the future of the levy system, which is a tax on bookmakers that helps fund the horseracing industry. Observers expect the two sides to remain divided over the amount of the levy and say the issue will ultimately be referred to the government for settlement.