’s sells majority stake in its bookie business to CVC Capital Partners for up to £800m as it focuses on core pay-TV operations
has announced the sale of a controlling stake in its bookmaker division Bet for up to £800m.
The broadcaster said that the sale to private equity firm CVC Capital Partners will “crystallise value” and enable Sky to focus on the “significant opportunity for growth in pay TV across the five markets in which it operates.
Last month the company dropped “British” and “Broadcasting” and adopted Sky as its official name after it completed the £7bn takeover of Sky Deutschland and Sky Italia.
Sky will keep a 20pc stake in Sky Bet and ongoing broad representation as well as a long-term brand licence agreement.
Under the terms of the Sky Bet deal, Sky will receive £600m in cash first and a further £120m at a later stage.
Sky Bet was formed in 2001 and has grown to become one of the UK’s biggest online betting companies, largely thanks to the power of the Sky brand. Last year, Sky Bet stepped in at the eleventh hour to rescue the Football League after failing to secure a sponsor. Sky Bet continues to be the title sponsor of the Football League.
“In the last ten years, we have successfully grown Sky Bet from a start-up to one of the leading online betting and gaming companies in the UK“, Jeremy Darroch, group chief executive of Sky said. “This transaction will allow us to focus further on the substantial growth opportunities in our core international pay TV business while realising significant value for our shareholders“.
Rob Lucas, managing partner of CVC said: “We are delighted to have agreed to acquire a controlling stake in Sky Bet.
“The partnership between CVC and Sky will provide a strong platform to support ’s ongoing success at this exciting point in its development,” Mr Lucas added.
The deal must be cleared by regulators in the UK and Ireland and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2015.
CVC was advised by OC&C Strategy Consultants, PWC and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. Sky was advised by Goldman Sachs, Deloitte and Herbert Smith Freehills. Management was advised by Debevoise & Plimpton.