Financial News

  • 21 May 2014, 9:49

Sporting Index Owner HgCapital Bets On Exit

The world's largest sports spread-betting operator is to be put up for sale almost a decade after it last changed hands.

Sky News can reveal that Sporting Index is likely to be sold later this year as its owner attempts to exploit customer demand generated by the World Cup, which kicks off in Brazil next month.

Sporting Index has been owned by HgCapital, a London-based private equity firm, since 2005, when it was offloaded by Duke Street Capital in a 76m deal.

Dean Street Advisers, a corporate finance firm whose founders worked on Betfred's acquisition of The Tote in 2011, has been appointed to advise Hg on the sale.

It was unclear on Tuesday how much Hg would seek to generate from an auction of Sporting Index or who the likely bidders would be.

The spread-betting firm is the last-remaining investment from Hg's fourth fund, with nine years being a relatively long period of ownership for a private equity group.

When Sporting Index was sold in 2005, its chief executive was Richard Glynn, who now runs Ladbrokes, the high street bookmaker.

Founded in 1992, Sporting Index has a global market share that it estimates at 80%, but has faced growing challenges from the emergence and expansion of competitors in recent years.

The company, which has roughly 60,000 customers in 90 countries, is now run by Warren Murphy, a former executive at the National Lottery operator Camelot.

An Hg spokesman declined to comment.

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