Flutter Entertainment raises £800 million from investors to fuel expansion plans
Flutter Entertainment has raised more than £800 million in a share sale, a move designed to reduce debts and fund expansion plans, especially in the US.
The move comes just a few weeks after the owner of Paddy Power Betfair completed a merger with Sky Bet's parent company The Stars Group to form a gambling industry giant.
The company said it believes the "the current operating environment is likely to result in longer-term changes to the sector landscape which will lead to further opportunities".
The statement added: "The placing will better position the group to move quickly to capitalise on such opportunities should they arise, accelerating its four-pillar strategy and consolidating its market leadership positions."
Flutter said one of the potential consequences of the Covid pandemic was that "the pace of regulation in the US could accelerate".
Fox Corporation has committed to increase its investment in Flutter as part of the placing of more than eight million shares, which raised £812,645,495 (approx €900m).
Flutter also released a trading update that revealed pro-forma group revenue had increased by ten per cent year-on-year in the second quarter, despite the widespread and ongoing disruption to global sports.
Good online poker and gaming performance had offset sports revenue, while revenue in Australia and the US had benefited from the continuation of horseracing behind closed doors.
Chief executive Peter Jackson said: "Businesses around the world are navigating through extraordinary change as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. As with many other sectors, in betting and gaming there have been stark impacts as much of the world has gone into lockdown, with some parts of the sector struggling and others thriving as consumers change their purchasing habits.
"At Flutter, we have worked hard to ensure that we have looked after customers and colleagues throughout this time with enhanced responsible gambling measures, not relying on job protection schemes and supporting communities of which we are a part.
"Today we are starting to look more directly to the future in terms of planning for growth whilst we continue to benefit from our product and geographical diversification as the unpredictable situation unfolds."
Flutter shares were down just over one per cent at 10,480p late on Friday morning.
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