SoftBank Offloads Betfair Stake

[image credit : Betfair]

Less than two weeks after posting an annual loss from continuing operations for 2012 of £49.4m ($73.4m), Betfair has announced that Japanese telecommunications firm SoftBank Corporation has offloaded its entire 10.6 percent holding in the betting exchange and online casino operator.

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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