Ladbrokes Coral owner Entain sells Betdaq to founder Dermot Desmond
Betdaq has been sold back to its founder and Irish business tycoon Dermot Desmond, eight years on from its sale to Ladbrokes.
Currently the second largest betting exchange, Betdaq, which started operating in 2001, was sold to Ladbrokes for €30 million (£25 million) in 2013.
The sale was confirmed on Thursday by Entain, the parent company of Ladbrokes Coral. The price being paid for the business by Desmond is unknown, although reports suggest it is substantially less than £25 million.
From December 1 the funds of Betdaq customers, currently held on LC International Limited’s behalf by Ladbrokes, will be transferred to Betdaq Trustee Company Limited on behalf of Exchange Platform Solutions Limited, ensuring the same level of protection for bettors. Customers’ account history will still be available online in the same way.
Betdaq is licensed out of Gibraltar, with the betting exchange operator offering markets on a range of international sporting events as well as being involved in horseracing and football club sponsorship deals in the past.
The firm sponsored the Champion Hurdle at the Punchestown festival from 2016 to 2019, during which time the Grade 1 event was won by Vroum Vroum Mag, Wicklow Brave, Supasundae and Buveur D'Air. It also sponsored the Dee Stakes at Chester in 2016 and Adonis Juvenile Hurdle day at Kempton two years later.
Desmond’s net worth is estimated at £1.5 billion and he is the majority shareholder at Celtic Football Club. He started his career in finance at Citibank and founded NCB Stockbrokers in 1981, which became Ireland’s largest independent brokerage.
With the proceeds from NCB’s sale in 1994, Desmond started private equity firm International Investment & Underwriting, which now has stakes in travel software firm Datalex, mining company Mountain Province Diamonds and care provider Barchester Healthcare.
A spokesman for Entain said: “We can confirm that Entain has agreed to sell the Betdaq business to Dermot Desmond for an undisclosed sum.”
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