Betfair expected to reject new offer as bidding deadline looms

A CONSORTIUM looking to take Betfair private will make its second formal offer to the online gaming firm’s board today, although the bid is once again set to fall below what is considered an acceptable value.

CVC Capital, which is teaming up with shareholders Richard Koch and Antony Ball, will offer between 900p and £10 per share before a 5pm deadline expires, sources familiar with the situation said.

This is above the 880p bid rejected last month, and would value the betting exchange at around £1bn, seen as a substantial premium on the company’s value before bid talk surfaced. The offer is likely to be shut down once again, although if it is seen as significant progress the firm may open up its books to allow CVC a closer look.

Betfair, which floated in 2010 on a wave of optimism about the exchange’s ability to leverage its peer-to-peer betting technology to expand into new markets, saw its share value fall to just above half its float price before takeover speculation began.

However, chief executive Breon Corcoran made a surprise announcement to the London Stock Exchange last week, revealing that trading in recent months had been much better than expected.