The Football Pools sale: Sportech plans disposal of betting game for nearly £100m to Burlywood Capital

Joe Hall
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The Football Pools once enjoyed millions of weekly players (Source: Getty)

The Football Pools, the 93-year-old sports lottery, is being sold by owners Sportech to investment fund Burlywood Capital for just shy of £100m.

Burlywood Capital, a venture capital firm focused on gaming and gambling, plans to list a new company created for the Football Pools on the AIM exchange.

Shares in Sportech have jumped by 9.3 per cent this morning.

The deal is still dependent on Burlywood raising the necessary equity and Sportech shareholder approval.

Sportech said the sale, worth £97.25m in cash, "represents an attractive opportunity to realise the value of The Football Pools" following the implementation of a modernisation programme in which the competition was relaunched online.

Read more: Betting exchange Smarkets reports whopping 1,500 per cent profit rise

First launched in 1923, the Football Pools - operating under three different brands - at its height had millions of players each week playing the predictor game in the hope of winning large cash prizes.

Sportech digitised the pools after buying all three brands between 2000 and 2007. It currently has around 300,000 players and made profits of £15.2m from sales of £33.9m last year.

The company got some good news earlier this year when the Court of Appeal ruled in its favour in a long-running battle with HMRC.

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