Business

Betfair float to value firm at up to £1.5bn

Betfair website
Image caption Betfair's 14 major investors own 75% of the company

Betfair, the online sports betting provider, has set the price range for its shares ahead of its planned listing on the London Stock Exchange.

The company, founded 10 years ago, said the float would give it a market capitalisation of £1.16bn-£1.48bn.

The price of its shares has been set in a range between £11 and £14 each.

If the shares are priced in this range, Betfair, which has grown into the world's largest business of its kind, would make it into the FTSE 250 index.

Growth opportunities

Betfair has three million customers and pioneered person-to-person betting, where punters bet against each other rather than the bookmaker on a range of sports.

The site also offers poker and other traditional casino betting forums.

When it announced its plans to float last month, Betfair said it had identified "multiple opportunities to secure future growth".

One area where the company believes it can expand is through a focus on what it calls the "high-growth" football market.

The business is also keen to improve its profile internationally, particularly in the rest of Europe and Australia.

Longer term, Betfair sees potential in the currently "highly restricted" markets of the United States, India and China.

Betfair's founders, Andrew Black, a former professional gambler, and former JP Morgan trader Edward Wray, jointly own one-quarter of the group.

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