Betfair may go public

Finance director hints that it may be an option

Betfair's sparkling results released yesterday (Wednesday) have sparked further media speculation that the UK online gambling firm may be looking to go public.

Company revenues soared 27 percent to GBP 303 million and profits were up 29 percent at GBP 72 million, whilst active user members tripled to 650 000 (see previous InfoPowa report).

CEO David Yu hailed the results as "...a progression to online betting [away from the High Street] as people want to be more selective on what they bet on and find better value."

The company has cash resources of GBP 133 million, obviating the need to raise capital, but as finance director Stephen Morana observed on the question of an IPO: "We don't need to raise capital but we will need a liquidity event [to allow shareholders to cash in]... A float is an obvious option."

Betfair is currently part-owned by founders Bertie Black and Ed Wray (25 percent), 20 percent by Softbank of Japan and 25 percent is in private equity

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