Perform lists despite eleventh hour delay

DRASTIC reforms to gambling laws in Germany caused online sports media firm Perform to delay the pricing of its London listing yesterday, though the firm is still due to begin trading today.

The group last night priced its initial public offering (IPO) at 260p per share, after stalling to consult investors over the German ruling.

Germany’s proposals set out earlier this week include plans to tax sports betting from next year at 16 per cent of turnover, and a ban on in-game wagers.

Perform, which provides online bookmakers with live video streams of sporting events, told investors its revenues would not be hit in the short to medium term by the plans.

Germany was forced to make changes to its gambling laws, which currently protect its states’ “Lotto” betting monopolies, following a European Court of Justice decision.

Private firms can now apply for seven national licenses for sports bets, with the added tax caveat and ban on live-play bets.

Perform had tightened the price range to between 260p and 280p per share, after tough market conditions forced it to abandon a higher bracket of between 255p and 325p.

The firm will bring in net proceeds of £67.5m through a primary share offer, increasing its market capitalisation to £586m.

Russian-American billionaire Len Blavatnik’s Access Industries, which owns 58 per cent of the firm, will net up to £40m through the sale of some of its existing stock.

Access will retain 45.3 per cent, while management will own a 23.1 per cent stake in the company.

Perform’s chief executive Oliver Slipper said: “This is the right time in our development to move to the public markets.”