Camelot, the operator of the National Lottery, announced last night it is to be sold into foreign ownership for £389m.
The deal, which has yet to be approved by the National Lottery Commission, the regulator, means Camelot will be taken over by the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan – known as Teachers – from Canada. Camelot's shareholders agreed the decision at a board meeting yesterday after the owners – De La Rue, Fujitsu, Cadbury, Thales and Royal Mail – called in the investment banking advisers Rothschild and Greenhill to orchestrate a sale of the group in April last year.
The Canadian fund beat off a challenge from the private equity firm CVC Capital Partners to add the lottery operator to its portfolio of businesses in Britain. Lee Sienna, a vice-president of Teachers, said Camelot would be treated as a "long-term" investment.