Monday June 17,2013 : PERFORM GROUP TO ACQUIRE SPORTS DATA FIRM?
 
Negotiations at an advances stage for acquisition of Opta Sports Data in a GBP 40 million deal.
 
The UK sports data firm Opta is to be sold to the Perform Group sports media business in a GBP 40 million deal, The Telegraph newspaper reported Monday, claiming that talks were at an advanced stage.
 
Originally known as Sportingstatz, Opta was founded in 1996 by Toby Russell, collecting detailed sporting statistical information which could influence betting on an event or in-play incident, such as which football players achieved the most passes in a given match or which parts of the pitch the most goals were scored from.
 
The newspaper claims that Opta's venture-capital backers, Albion Capital, have put the company up for sale, and agreement on the deal is expected within the next couple of months.
 
Opta  has a heavyweight clientele that includes BSkyB, American newspaper USA Today, and the National Basketball Association among others.  The company turned over just over GBP 10.8 million in the 12 months to July 2012, and recently made it back into black ink with a pre-tax profit of GBP 345,000.
 
Perform's acquisition of Opta will be the latest in a series of deals that have included buying online football portal Goal.com in 2011, and Runningball, another sports data company more recently in a GBP 120 million agreement.
 
Opta founder Toby Russell also owns and operates the sports news website Sports.com, and an app design firm titled Coreware