Michael Tabor, a notable name in UK horseracing circles, has acquired the operations of Gibraltar-based bookies BetVictor. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but chairman Victor Chandler (pictured) and CEO Michael Carlton will both be stepping down from their day-to-day roles. Chandler will remain on hand in a consultancy position while Carlton is expected to do the same during the transition period.
Chandler issued a statement saying he’d concluded that his company “would be best served under new ownership and leadership.” Chandler had led the privately-held company for four decades, having taken over from his father William, who founded the company in 1946. The ownership transfer has already received the blessing of Gibraltar gaming regulators and Chandler expressed confidence that BetVictor “would continue to thrive” under Tabor’s ownership.
Tabor, who formerly ran the Arthur Prince chain of bookies before selling out to Coral in 1995, was one of BetVictor’s founding shareholders. Tabor said the brand had “enormous potential and is well placed to continue its expansion with further investment and strategic development.” In addition to its European operations, BetVictor also operates in Asia under the VC+ brand.
Whatever price he paid, Tabor can likely afford the deal, having been ranked #170 on the Sunday Times most recent rich list with a net worth of £600m. In April, rumors swirled that Tabor was part of a group of horseracing luminaries known as the Coolmore group that was looking to acquire UK bookies Ladbrokes once the struggling firm’s stock price slid a little further into the abyss.