Ukbetting out to raise £11m for acquisitions

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The Independent Online

The internet betting group ukbetting yesterday announced it was raising £11m - partly to help it buy Oddschecker, a privately owned odds comparison service, and partly to pay down debt and fund further acquisitions.

Ukbetting is to pay a maximum of £4.75m for the Fulham-based business if it hits certain targets, including making a profit of £800,000 in the current year to next June.

Peter Dubens, ukbetting's executive vice chairman, said: "They've known us for a couple of years because we've been providing sports information to their site ... they're doing well so we don't see any issue with them missing the target."

Oddschecker, which is owned by its 16 staff and some private investors, was set up about three years ago. In the year to 30 June, it made a pre-tax profit of £400,000 on turnover of £1.3m.

Ukbetting said it believed the business to be the UK's leading odds comparison service with 75 per cent of the UK market and more than 100,000 gaming and betting users.

The £11m fundraising, through a share placing at 45p which is fully underwritten by Collins Stewart, brings the total the company has raised on the stock market in the last two years to just over £20m.

Mr Dubens said it would have about £5m to £6m of cash post the deal after it used £3m to eliminate debt and used some cash to finance the initial fee of £2.75m for Oddschecker.