SoftBank Offloads Betfair Stake

Less than two weeks after reporting an annual loss of £49.4 m ($73.4 m) from ongoing operations for 2012, Betfair revealed that its entire 10.6 percent stake in the betting exchange and online casino operator has been sold by Japanese telecommunications company SoftBank Corporation.

Betfair rejected a preliminary takeover approach from private equity firm CVC Capital Partners Limited in May that was reportedly worth £911.7m ($1.3bn) and revealed that SoftBank via its Charlton Corporation subsidiary sold around eleven million shares to Deutsche Bank for 807p each on Tuesday.

According to a report from The Telegraph newspaper, these shares were then quickly dispersed by Deutsche Bank to a range of institutional investors believed to include Kames Capital and Henderson for 827p each, which represented an immediate profit of around £2m ($2.9m).

SoftBank acquired its significant Betfair shareholding in 2006 and the sale has made it even more unlikely that a takeover will occur in the near future as the collective stakes held by pre-float shareholders including co-founders Andrew Black and Ed Wray is now even further reduced to around 40 percent.

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