Blavatnik’s Perform pays £40m for sports data provider Opta

PERFORM, the sports media group which boasts billionaire Len Blavatnik as its biggest shareholder, is set to pay £40m for Opta, the sports statistics firm beloved of football obsessives.

Opta, which produces statistics on everything from what Premier League player has hit the post most often to who has made the most substitute appearances, was formed in 1996 and has clients from betting sites to media outlets. It is owned by a combination of management and angel investors, and had sales of just £10.8m last year, although Perform said it saw ample potential to expand the business.

Perform, a FTSE 250 constituent, said it planned to raise £120m to pay for the deal – as well as future acquisitions – in a share placing carried out by Morgan Stanley and UBS. Blavatnik’s Access Industries said it will buy shares to retain its 42.6 per cent holding.

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