CVC given extra 24 hours to make improved Betfair bid
Punters gambling on a takeover of Betfair were given some hope after a put-up-or-shut-up deadline imposed on private equity firm CVC was extended for a day – at Betfair's request.
The gambling group had adamantly rejected CVC's initial approach of just over £900m, or 880p a share, which came with multiple conditions including CVC being granted access to Betfair's books, obtaining a board recommendation and being able to secure financing.
But despite giving out a clear message it was not interested in a deal, Betfair last night gave CVC extra time to come up with a better offer. CVC now has a further day, suggesting it is close to tabling something more to the board's liking.
Betfair's recent trading statement was ahead of the City's expectations, making the job of the bidder – which is working with large shareholders – harder.
Its shares closed at 895p yesterday, but the company has struggled to live up to the lofty valuation it enjoyed when it debuted on the markets at £13 a share. Its new chief executive Breon Corcoran has pulled out of markets where Betfair faces regulatory problems and cut costs.
Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes
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