Betfair have finally announced something they’ve been threatening to do for months – and I’m not talking about them finally deciding to gag Andy Gray live on TV. Today, at the London Stock Exchange, the online gaming exchange have rolled out plans for an Initial Public Offering (IPO), which they hope will earn them in the region of £1.5bn.
The company, launched ten years ago by Andrew Black and Ed Wray, a former professional gambler and former trader respectively, is expected to float 10% of the company in order to raise share capital. It all comes after they released figures for the three months to the end of July, showing their core business increased revenues by 22% to £86.3m, with sports revenues rising by 24%. They also have £150m of cash and no debt on the balance sheet, so why go public?
Private companies are known to be a lot more nimble than public firms will ever be, the flexible and aggressive attitude of the private sector likely to be a massive factor when it comes to the future of the online gambling industry. The company brand-licensing model Bodog brand is one example of a strong private structure that works.