Sportech waiting for completion of £83m Football Pools deal

Liverpool-based betting company Sportech is still waiting for completion of the its sale of the Football Pools for a sum believed to be about £83m.

In its trading up date covering January to May, listed Sportech said completion of the transaction is subject to the buyer OpCapita receiving appropriate licensing from the Gambling Commission.

“In line with the timetable set out, we anticipate the Gambling Commission decision in the next few weeks, which would enable the transaction to complete prior to the end of June,” the statement said.

In March, the company completed a tender offer to purchase and then cancel 10% of the group’s issued share capital, spending approximately £21m to repurchase 20.6m shares at a price of 101.5p.

Sportech Racing and Digital has had an encouraging period to date in 2017.

Investment in upgrading its gaming technology has brought in new business, and the opening of its office in Singapore is delivering results in a region where the company has previously had few customers.

In Asia, the contracts secured last year in Macau, Vietnam and Malaysia are performing well, and it expects additional customers.

The expansion into Asia has helped to diversify and grow the division’s revenues beyond its core North American marketplace, where industry betting turnover remains broadly flat.

There was a solid start to the year for its Venues business, with progress in several areas. It expects to open a 20,000 sq ft flagship sports bar, restaurant and betting facility in downtown Stamford, Connecticut within the next few weeks following an investment of more $7m, and is working to receive licensing for a further venue in nearby Danbury.

Meanwhile Roger Withers will today retire as chairman of Sportech. Richard McGuire will be appointed as the new chairman of Sportech, and the company will also welcome Richard Cooper as a non-executive director.