by Anton Johan
Paddy Power, the Irish listed gaming group, announced that it has
purchased a 9.8% of stake of the Australian firm Sportsbet Pty Ltd from Nambawan
The acquisition from this group for €8.5 million (A$ 13 million) means
that Paddy Power now owns 60.8% of Sportsbet.
A previous purchase of a 51% stake in May last year saw Paddy Power pay €32.8 million.
Last year's purchase also came with a clause that offered Paddy Power an
option to buy out the entire company by 2013.
Paddy Power issued a statement this week outlining the new deal and
explaining that the remaining 39.2% of the Australian group's shares would be
subject to existing transaction arrangements.
Paddy Power has been seeking ways to expand beyond the UK borders, as its
feels that the market has become somewhat saturated.
The new deal will increase Paddy Power's Australian footprint and take the
group into a growing market with huge potential.
Paddy Power said that Sportsbet is just one of several groups that it is
eyeing for takeover.
Paddy Power offers a wide range of services and brands, including casino
gaming, bingo, mobile and poker.
Formed in 1988, Paddy Power has an annual turnover of €2 billion.
Profits before tax were just under €79 million in 2008.