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.
- 1 Home Office says Nigerian asylum-seeker can’t be a lesbian as she’s got children
- 2 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 3 Drugs Live cannabis trial: Hash is less harmful than any other drug, expert claims
- 4 Turkish Airlines flight TK 726 crash-lands on Nepal runway amid dense fog
- 5 Apple and Google users being spied on for a decade because of 'Freak' security flaw
The City of the Monkey God: Archaeologists claim to have found city lost for 1,000 years in remote Honduran jungle
Turkish Airlines flight TK 726 crash-lands on Nepal runway amid dense fog
Japanese island overrun with cats after population explodes
London property boom built on dirty money
Becky Watts: Stepbrother and his girlfriend named locally as two arrested on suspicion of murder
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin and says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'
Boris Nemtsov shot dead: Outspoken Putin critic who had expressed fears for his life is killed near the Kremlin
iJobs Money & Business
£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...
Voluntary post, reasonable expenses reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: Would you ...
£36,000 - £40,000: Christine McCleave: Are you looking for a new opportunity a...
£15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity for...