Statto's stats pay off as sports data firm sold in £47m deal

The television betting guru Angus Loughran is nicknamed "Statto" because of his love of sporting statistics but now he has proved there is good money in it too, as he has profited from the sale of the sports data firm Opta.

Mr Loughran, who was declared bankrupt in 2008 but has kept working, was one of nearly 100 small shareholders who invested in Opta, which was sold yesterday for up to £47m to Perform Group.

Compton Hellyer, founder of Sporting Index, the BlackRock investment manager Evy Hambro, the former Daily Telegraph managing director Jeremy Deedes and Oliver Pawle, chairman of the headhunters Korn/Ferry, were investors in Opta.

"Setting up a company as a 28-year-old with zero track record, you have to beg, borrow and steal from family and friends," the chief executive, Aidan Cooney, told The Independent as he recalled how he founded the company in 2000.

BSkyB, which helped to set up Opta, and the investment firm Albion Ventures were also significant minority shareholders with stakes of 5 and 15 per cent respectively. Opta has seen demand soar for its sports data, such as player performance statistics, which it offers in real time to clients such as Sky and the English Cricket Board.

"We set out to create a way of analysing player performance when we set up the company, but we were way before our time," said Mr Cooney. "When we went in to see the editor of Sun Sport [for the first time] and said, 'You should be using player data,' he told us to stop 'Americanising' sport."

Mr Cooney said Opta had seen a big shift recently as clients now want highly detailed statistics. "It's only really in the last three years that performance data has taken off. With the rise of the blogosphere and Twitterverse, fans have become much more sophisticated."

Perform, which supplies online data and video to sports and betting clients, is paying £40m upfront, with £7m for management based on performance.

FTSE 250-listed Perform has placed £120m in shares to fund the purchase. Cavendish Corporate Finance advised Opta on the sale.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Digital Optimisation Executive - Marketing

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The UK's fastest growing, multi...

Recruitment Genius: Financial Reporting Manager

£70000 - £90000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Financial Reporting Manager i...

Recruitment Genius: Payments Operations Assistant

£23000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They win lots of awards for the...

Recruitment Genius: Telephone Debt Negotiator

£13500 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This nationwide enforcement com...

Day In a Page

Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific