Paddy Power Betfair Shareholders Vote for Flutter
May 16, 2019
In 2016 two of the world’s fastest growing bookmakers Paddy Power and Betfair merged to create a leading international betting business employing over 7000 staff and listed within the FTSE 100 on the London Stock Exchange.
Yesterday more than 99% of the shareholders voting by proxy backed the Company’s decision to rebrand the listed company as Flutter Entertainment. This is a full turn for Betfair in particular as the betting exchange was formed in 2000 by Andrew Black and Edward Wray and acquired its largest competitor at the time Flutter.com in December 2001. That acquisition allowed Betfair to grow quickly into the world’s largest betting exchange and float itself on the London Stock Exchange in 2011.
Betfair and Paddy Power have both been amazingly successful in their own niche and have been at the forefront of enhancing online betting for the customer since their inception. For example, Betfair introduced the concept of in play betting in 2001 and was also responsible for the introduction of “Cash Out” facility in 2012.
Paddy Power began as an independent chain of betting shops in 1988 but quickly grew through quirky advertising and money back offers and were listed on the Irish Stock Exchange in 2000.
Paddy Power and Betfair have been amongst the leading betting brands in the UK for the last fifteen years but now the combined Group also operate in Australia via leading brand Sportsbet.com.au, in the United States via both TVG a TV channel dedicated to horseracing and Fanduel the leading fantasy sports site. Recently the Group continued its expansion by acquiring a majority stake in Adjarbet for £101M! Adjarbet is, of course, the leading bookmaker in Georgia.
The rationale behind the change of name for the business is to allow the corporate name of the Group to reflect the broader business and not just specific brands operated by the Group. The business is now growing much faster internationally and is less reliant on the UK for its earnings. Last year was difficult financially, particularly in the UK where the Government is increasing regulation and taxation and pre-tax profits were down to £219M. However, with a valuation of over £4.5Billion this business is surely the most valuable Flutter of all time.