Tuesday May 14, 2013 : BETFAIR ACQUISITION DEAL IS OFF
Latest developments in a fast-moving sequence of events sees Betfair walking away from the latest offer.
The acquisition of online gambling group Betfair plc by CWC Capital Partners appeared to be off early Tuesday as The Guardian newspaper reported that the gambling group's directors had spurned the latest offer from the investment company.
Just hours earlier both parties had agreed to a 24-hour extension of time for a renewed CVC offer.
But the new offer – of GBP 985 in cash – was rejected by Betfair, with chairman Gerald Corbett saying Monday night that the new offer was still too low.
In a late night statement, Corbett said: "The board has spent considerable time assessing the various proposals, including detailed discussions with the co-offerors.
"The board concluded that none of the proposals represented adequate value or acceptable execution risk."
The Takeover Panel had set 5 pm Monday as the cut-off point for CVC to either raise its April bid of GBP 912 million (see previous InfoPowa report) or withdraw, after Betfair rejected the first 880p a share approach on grounds it "fundamentally undervalued" the company.
The most recent Betfair statement reviewed events leading up to the present situation, in particular noting that since the original offer CWC had upped its offer on two occasions – on May 10 offering another 5 percent on its original offer of 880p a share, and again on May 12 in a "full and final offer" of 950 pence per share, or 8 percent more than the original offer.
Betfair directors rejected this, but indicated a willingness to remain in negotiations if CWC wished to continue with a better offer. CWC agreed to remain at the table, but further progress was not made and both parties agreed to terminate the negotiations.
Corbett commented in the statement:
"Under the new direction of Breon Corcoran and his management team the Board believes that Betfair is making excellent progress in the implementation of its strategy with momentum building from early success. The Board remains confident in the continued delivery of this strategy and the Company's outlook and growth prospects."
Betfair shares closed down 3p at 895p on Monday evening, after trading as high as 947.5p during the day.