Paddy Power buys Sportsbet

Paddy Power yesterday said it will buy a controlling stake in Australian firm Sportsbet, as it ventures for the first time outside of Europe. Paddy Power will take a 51 per cent stake in the company which provides betting on Australian horse racing and other sports for online and telephone customers. The group will pay an initial A$48.5m (£24.4m) in cash and stock. Another A$10 m will be paid out if Sportsbet's earnings for 2009 top A$16.5m. Yesterday Paddy Power shares rose by 4.78 per cent to €15.90 as the group reiterated it would meet market expectations for the year.