Paddy Power Betfair merger spurs ‘record’ share

Saturday, Jan 16, 2016 13:13

Today the merger of Paddy Power and Betfair will take effect. Yesterday, the first signs of how significant this merger is, manifested itself in investors rushing to the Irish Stock Exchange. The business, which will be known as Paddy Power Betfair, will be the biggest listed online betting and gambling company.

Traders expected heavy interest in shares but miscalculated the demand by several million shares. The expected interest of 3.8 million shares was surpassed by several million.

Paddy Power shares gained in value by almost 4 %, closing at €142.75 on the last day trading under that name. Paddy Power shares will trade under the new entity on the Irish Stock Exchange and the London Stock Exchange.

The merger, which was approved in December 2015 by shareholders in Dublin, brings Paddy Power shops to a total of 336 in the UK and 252 stores in Ireland.

However, with 80 % of their combined annual revenue coming from online business, the brick-and-mortar business forms the smaller part of the business. Presence on the high street is, however, a crucial asset to the brand-aware company.

Paddy Power was formed in 1988 via the merger of three Irish bookmakers. The Sporting Exchange was established in 1999 by professional gambler Andrew Black and Edward Wray, a financial services professional. This company launched the Betfair Betting Exchange in 2000, which provided players with novel bets, such as betting in play.

Today, Paddy Power Betfair announced the appointment of Zillah Byng-Thorne, Peter Jackson, Ian Dyson and Peter Rigby as non-executive directors. Furthermore, the executive team of the merged company was announced and includes Breon Corcoran as CEO, Tom Grace and Ulric Jerome as directors and Alex Gersh as CFO.

Analysts are predicting further growth and traders are forecasting sustained interest in shares.