James Moore: Clever Breon Corcoran is a winner for Betfair
Outlook Betfair's Breon Corcoran produced the best possible response to the private-equity sharks circling the company he runs. The betting exchange operator issued a trading statement that surprised on the upside, a welcome change for those investors who bought in when it floated at £13 a share.
The company might have revolutionised an industry, is still Britain's biggest dotcom, and has a brand that is known wherever people can legally place a bet, but it has never come close to living up to what was promised when it went public.
Mr Corcoran is clearly intent on changing that. He did the clever thing by getting the bad stuff out of the way first, upsetting some when he told them they would have to accept less than they might have hoped for as a result of the company pulling out of markets where the regulatory situation is less than favourable.
He has also taken the axe to an admittedly bloated cost base, and while that's painful (500 staff gone and counting), it's probably necessary. Betfair's bureaucracy needed trimming and the leaner, fitter business that will emerge on the other side of this will be better-placed to compete in a fiercely competitive gambling market while keeping the likes of CVC Capital Partners at bay.
The latter's takeover approach was always an opportunistic one, and a long shot to succeed even if it did have the support of a couple of big investors. By putting out a number on what it might be willing to pay if management agreed, if it could get access to the books, if it could find financing, it created a lot excitement without any real substance.
Mr Corcoran's counterpunch was all about substance. CVC has until Monday to put up or shut up. In reality, it has run its race. Betfair's new boss appears to be just getting started.
LAPD releases haunting crime scene photos from its archives
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: The mutiny that sent a ripple of fear through the Empire
Peaches Geldof funeral: Bob Geldof leads tributes at emotional service in same church she married husband Thomas Cohen and mother Paula Yates was buried
50-year mystery of the ocean ‘quack’ finally solved by scientists
Malaysia Airlines flight MH370: Concerns grow among search officials that missing jet ‘may have landed somewhere else’
Ukip election posters: Nigel Farage defends 'racist' campaign anti-immigration campaign ahead of Europe elections
Ukip leader Nigel Farage defends employing German wife, at launch of anti-immigration poster campaign
Is Britain really a land of God? Furious debate after David Cameron claims we are a Christian country
An open letter to Nigel Farage: you may smile, but I am not seduced
'Sinful': Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy comes under attack
Nigel Farage: Calling Ukip’s posters ‘racist’ is yet another example of shameful Westminster evasion
- 1 William Shakespeare's 450th birthday: 50 everyday phrases that came from the Bard
- 2 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 3 Man gives barefoot bus passenger the shoes off his feet
- 4 50-year mystery of the ocean ‘quack’ finally solved by scientists
- 5 Malaysia Airlines flight MH370: Concerns grow among search officials that missing jet ‘may have landed somewhere else’
iJobs Money & Business
£80000 - £120000 per annum + Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: US QUALI...
Highly Competitive Package: Austen Lloyd: INTERNATIONAL BANKING Banking Solici...
£20000 - £28000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Data Quality Analyst-(SQL, Excel,...
£90000 - £110000 per annum + full Package: Harrington Starr: Director of Cons...