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PP shares avoid Cheltenham hurdle

By Pádraig Hoare It may have largely been a Cheltenham week to forget for bookmakers but the punter-friendly results have not led to a fall for industry leaders like Paddy Power.

Shares in Paddy Power were largely unchanged as it navigated the hurdles that the four-day festival posed.

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Despite fellow bookmaker Ladbrokes claiming day one of Cheltenham was the costliest ever for bookmakers with a loss of €25m, it was unlikely to have an impact on overall financial results of firms, according to analysts.

Industry insiders said that despite the high-profile payouts of day one and other punter-friendly results on day two and three, it could yet end up in a photo finish between bookmakers and punters overall after a positive fourth day for the betting firms.

Ivor Jones of Peel Hunt said the effects of Cheltenham on the likes of Paddy Power’s financial results were negligible.

“Cheltenham is high-profile but marginal, if the punters do well in one period they have more money to bet in the next period, and of course, vice versa. The World Cup is another important event later in the year,” he said.

Mr Jones said boardroom movement including chief executive Breon Corcoran leaving his role to be replaced by Peter Jackson, stalled product development and losing market share were more important factors than Cheltenham when it came to Paddy Power’s share price.

Shares in the €7.35bn-valued firm fell last week amid investor concern over its performance in mainland Europe.

Paddy Power, which has a market share of around 29% in the UK and Ireland, spent around €28m on marketing last year and has indicated it will spend a further €22m to regain lost market share.

Overall group revenues rose 13% last year to over €1.94bn, according to annual results.

UK rival Ladbrokes said day two of Cheltenham was very costly for the industry with Irish winners dominating proceedings, while the third day was also punter-friendly with favourites finishing on the podium.

The winner of yesterday’s Gold Cup, Native River, was a “nightmare result” for bookmakers, according to Ladbrokes’ Nicola McGeady.

Shares in Ladbrokes were up more than 1.5%, while fellow UK firm William Hill were up 0.5%.

Independent Irish bookmaker Boylesports, which has a market share in the Republic of around 25%, said it had a record year in terms of bets placed with mobile customers, online and in shops.

A spokesman said: “For bookmakers it was a positive experience but well off the dizzying heights of last year.”
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Paddy Power sponsors CONIFA ‘Rebels’ World Football Cup

Paddy Power has become the lead sponsor of the ‘CONIFA – World Football Cup 2018’ tournament, which will be hosted in London (31 May – 10 June).

CONIFA, the ‘Confederation of Independent Football Associations’ is the international governing body for Non-FIFA syndicated football associations.

Paddy Power marketing, details that it wants to support the ‘rebels and wildcards of world football who FIFA refuse to recognise’.

Countering the FIFA Russia World Cup, this summer’s CONIFA tournament has been expanded to sixteen teams, including the exiled people of Tibet, the Zimbabwean region of Matabeleland, the Isle of Man and Yorkshire.

Confirming its sponsorship, Paddy Power released a Youtube video featuring CONIFA president Pers Anders Blind and former Premier League stars Paul Ince and Sol Campbell.

Paddy Power will further support the CONIFA tournament streaming the tournament’s matches across its social media channels.

Company spokesman Paddy Power said: “We love the idea of a tournament which represents the underdog, and sticks one up FIFA.

“English fans have little or no incentive to go to Russia, so we thought we’d give them an alternative right on the doorstep.No millionaires, no prima donnas, just decent lads who are every bit as patriotic as every other international player.”
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Paddy Power prices Zuckerberg’s Facebook resignation

Mark Zuckerberg faces his toughest period as CEO & Founder of technology and social media giant Facebook, following shocking revelations of public data breaches, by political ‘micro-targeting firm’ Cambridge Analytica.

This week, Facebook undertook an ‘apology tour’ purchasing full-page advertisements in several UK and US newspapers, with Zuckerberg publicly stating ‘We have a responsibility to protect your information, if we can’t, we don’t deserve it.’

The Cambridge Analytica Scandal is reported to have cost Facebook shareholders approximately $50 billion in market value (current cap: $490 billion), following a Wall Street sell-off.

Further woes for Facebook, see Zuckerberg pressured by UK, EU and US politicians to personally explain his company’s inaction at protecting its user data, having previously been warned of potential breaches and bad actors targeting Facebook’s social media platform.

Reacting to Facebook’s ‘week from hell’, Paddy Power has priced Zuckerberg to Stand Down as Facebook CEO in 2018 at 4/1.

Zuckerberg who for the first time faces calls to resign as Facebook’s leader has further been priced by Paddy Power at 1/10 to testify before Congress, Parliament or EU courts.

Updating the media, Spokesman Paddy Power said: “The heat is turned up on Zuckerberg following the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

“We’ve cut his odds of being unfriended from Facebook dramatically in the last couple of weeks. Uh oh, Zuckers.”
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Paddy Power Betfair hires Jonathan Hill as new Group CFO

FTSE100 betting group Paddy Power Betfair Plc (PPB ) has confirmed the appointment of Jonathan Hill as Group Chief Financial Officer (CFO).

Hill the current CFO of senior citizens’ financial services firm Saga Plc, is set to join PPB’s corporate leadership team this autumn, replacing long-term group finance lead Alex Gersh who this March confirmed his departure from PPB’s executive team.

A + 20-year corporate finance executive, Hill has held senior executive roles at FTSE listed firms; Bovis Homes, British Gas and TUI Travel.

Hill is the latest appointment by PPB’s new Group Chief Executive Peter Jackson, who took official charge of the FTSE betting enterprise in January announcing a restructure to the firm’s executive management framework.

Peter Jackson commented on the appointment of Hill: “We’re delighted that Jonathan is joining us. He brings substantial strategic and operational finance experience in consumer businesses and I am confident he will make a significant contribution to Paddy Power Betfair’s future success.”

In PPB’s 2017 results update, Peter Jackson stated that his new leadership team would prioritise ‘returning Paddy Power to growth’, combined with the continued expansion of PPB products and services in new markets outside of the UK and Ireland.

Jonathan Hill commented on joining PBB leadership: “I am excited to be joining a business with great brands, differentiated products and substantial international scale. There are many opportunities to drive shareholder value and I look forward to being part of the team to deliver this”.
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Paddy Power to be hit by new UK betting laws

Paddy Power-Betfair earnings could take a 3%-6% hit if the UK government imposes maximum betting restrictions on gaming machines in bookmakers’ British shops, analysts have warned.

Shares in all the major players took a hefty hit as investors braced themselves for a worst case scenario outcome to the UK’s ongoing review of fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs).

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The latest moves in the UK coincide with Fianna Fáil calling for Irish gambling regulation to be strengthened.

“Uncontrolled gambling has become a scourge on communities up and down this country and is often masqueraded as harmless socialising or enjoyment,” said Fianna Fáil TD Jack Chambers.
Fianna Fáil recently brought forward comprehensive legislation setting out a clear basis to regulate the industry, protect vulnerable people, and restrict the advertising and sponsorship of gambling.

The bill, co-sponsored by Fianna Fáil TDs Anne Rabbitte and Jim O’Callaghan, will be moved in the Dáil on May 9th.

Regarding developments in the UK, meanwhile, British chancellor Philip Hammond has, reportedly, accepted recommendations for the top bet on slot machine- type machines in UK betting shops to be reduced to £2. Currently, punters are allowed to stake up to £100 every 20 seconds on FOBTs. The UK government has been looking, for some time, at lowering that maximum stake amount to between £2 and £50.

Analysts see the likely harsher-than-expected restrictions as having severe implications for the earnings power of the major bookmaker chains.

“A cut in the FOBT staking limit to £2 would shrink William Hill’s [earnings] Ebitda by 25%, GVC’s by 18%, and Paddy Power-Betfair’s by 3%,” said Davy analyst David Jennings, who also warned investors may start to wonder whether changes to the UK’s existing point-of-consumption tax could also be on the cards.

“Were the point-of-consumption tax on gaming products to be increased to 25%, the impact would be 6% on William Hill, 5% on GVC, and 4% on Paddy Power-Betfair,” said Mr Jennings.

Goodbody predicted Paddy Power’s earnings to be hit by closer to 6% if the £2 restriction were to become a reality.

Morgan Stanley analyst Ed Young said Paddy Power-Betfair could take an additional hit of around 8% to earnings per share should the UK impose additional tax on online income to make up its tax shortfall.

William Hill is the most exposed bookmaker to tighter FOBT regulation and a reduction in the maximum betting stake on the machines could see its earnings fall by over 40% and nearly 3,000 of its shops close down, according to Goodbody analyst Gavin Kelleher.

William Hill’s share price fell by nearly 13% yesterday. Shares in Ladbrokes owner GVC fell by over 6%. Paddy Power-Betfair saw its share price slump by close to 4%.

Regarding Irish law, Mr Chambers said the importance of regulation “cannot be overestimated”.

“The rapid growth of internet gambling, alone, means we need effective laws to protect vulnerable people placing bets online. The fact that there’s no physical exchange of cash makes it even more dangerous. It is time that emerging trends in the gambling industry are more stringently regulated,” he said.
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Paddy Power Betfair stands by FOBTs judgement

The governance of FTSE100 betting group Paddy Power Betfair Plc (PP😎 has restated its support of the government’s £2 cut on FOBTs machine wagering.

Issuing a corporate update, following yesterday’s DCMS triennial review judgement, PPB governance stated that the drastic FOBTs cut would not change the firm’s UK retail strategy.

Updating the market, PPB estimates a 33-43% decline in total machine gaming revenues, which referencing 2017 would have equated to a revenue impact of £35 – £46 million, representing 2-2.6% of group revenues.

Last September, PPB governance broke away from industry consensus, as outgoing Chief Executive Breon Corcoran stated that DCMS should proceed with its significant reduction on FOBTs machine wagers.

Corcoran would be lambasted by independent bookmakers, who accused PPB’s former leader of hijacking DCMS review, in order to gain a favourable outcome which would suit the FTSE betting group’s long-term growth strategy.

Issuing a short statement, PPB governance stated that its retail division had developed a strong sports-led proposition, delivering best market prices, which would be able to mitigate UK FOBTs impacts.

Peter Jackson Paddy Power Betfair’s CEO, said: “We have previously highlighted our concern that the wider gambling industry has suffered reputational damage as a result of the widespread unease over stake limits on gaming machines. We welcome, therefore, the significant intervention by the Government today, and believe this is a positive development for the long-term sustainability of the industry.”
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Paddy Power Betfair in talks to purchase FanDuel

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British bookmaking giant Paddy Power Betfair (PP😎 has confirmed talks over a merger in the US with fantasy sports site FanDuel.

Talks centre around combining its US operation with FanDuel to create a business “to target the prospective US sports betting market”.

It comes in the aftermath of the US Supreme Court’s overturning of PASPA, effectively opening the door to sports betting at a federal level.

FanDuel allows sports fans to gamble on fantasy sports leagues and contests.

PPB confirmed the talks in a statement: “Paddy Power Betfair plc (“the Group”) notes the media speculation, and confirms it is in discussions regarding a potential combination of the Group’s US business and FanDuel to create a combined business to target the prospective US sports betting market.

“Discussions are ongoing and there is no certainty as to whether agreement will be reached, or as to the terms or timing of any transaction. A further announcement will be made as appropriate.”

Paddy Power Betfair currently operates an online casino in New Jersey and the FanDuel swoop follows on from last year’s US$48m acquisition of daily fantasy sports site Draft.

Earlier this month, the company announced the return of £500 million in cash to shareholders after first-quarter results showed a dip in revenues.
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Paddy Power launches ‘swear boxes’ campaign for Suas literacy charity

Paddy Power has backed Irish children’s literacy charity Suas, on its mission to ‘clean-up the nation’s language’.

Partnering with Suas, a charity which specializes in providing literacy support for disadvantaged youngsters in Ireland and abroad, Paddy Power has launched its ‘swear boxes’ campaign within its Irish betting shops.

The idea behind Paddy Power’s swear boxes is two-fold: to try and clean-up the language of the nation; whilst raising vital funds for Suas’ work with children from disadvantaged communities.

Paddy Power commented on backing Suas: “This is a really innovative, fun way to raise money for a great charity. I hope anyone who ticks the box of being both fond of a flutter and prone to the odd bit of profanity will fill the box at their local Paddy Power shop…. although I’m fearful that Suas might be disappointed with the impeccable manners of our customers!”

Suas, who will receive 75% of the cash donated by this profanity tariff, aim to service an additional 3,948 of children by the end of 2019. The Borris House Festival of Writing & Ideas will receive the remaining 25%, with which they will fund classes in creative writing each year by leading authors.

John Logue, CEO of Suas, commented on the Paddy Power partnership “One-in-three children in disadvantaged communities in Ireland have serious difficulties with literacy. The impact of illiteracy for these children, their families – and their communities – can be devastating. Our goal is to end childhood illiteracy in these communities. With Paddy Power’s incredible support, we will be able to provide one-to-one mentoring for almost 4,000 children in Ireland over the next 3 years.”
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Paddy Power Betfair forms new US entity with FanDuel

FTSE100 betting group Paddy Power Betfair (PP😎, has confirmed that it will create a new US-facing subsidiary, joining forces with daily fantasy sports operator FanDuel.

Updating the market this afternoon, PPB governance confirms that it will merge its Betfair US division with FanDuel’s enterprise, as the company seeks to accelerate its position within the newly opened US market.

The new subsidiary will consist of Betfair US’s racing and wagering properties, valued at $600 million, with PPB further contributing $158 million in cash to secure a controlling 61% stake in the US business venture.

“The transaction strengthens the Group’s opportunity to target the prospective US sports betting market through the addition of a strong brand, large existing customer base and talented team. The scale of the combined business also means it is well positioned in discussions with providers of market access for sports betting” detailed PPB in its market update.

PPB will have operational control of the business, which will act as a consolidated subsidiary. The FTSE betting group will further hold the right to appoint the enterprise’s CEO and the majority of the Board of Directors.

PPB’s interest in FanDuel was initially reported last week, with news sources detailing that the FTSE operator was in the advanced stages of putting forward an opening offer to acquire FanDuel outright.

Peter Jackson, CEO of Paddy Power Betfair, commented on the transaction:

“We are excited to add FanDuel to the Group’s portfolio of leading sports brands. This combination creates the industry’s largest online business in the US, with a large sports-focused customer base and an extensive nationwide footprint.

The Group has leading sports betting operating capabilities globally and strong operations on the ground in the US. Together with our substantial financial firepower, we believe we are now well placed to target the prospective US sports betting opportunity.”
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Paddy Power to donate £10,000 to LGBT+ charities for every World Cup goal Russia scores

The controversial bookmaker has launched a World Cup LGBT+ donation campaign in partnership with Attitude magazine, highlighting Russia's 'policy of discrimination'

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"Rainbow Russians" will donate £10,000 for every goal Russia score at the World Cup to initiatives that make football more inclusive to the LGBT+ community, with a minimum donation of £50,000.

High-profile campaign supporters – who will no doubt now be supporting Russia in today's opening match against Saudi Arabia – include the ex-Olympian Caitlyn Jenner, the former rugby star Gareth Thomas, the rugby referee Nigel Owens, the ex-swimmer Mark Foster, England women's football international Lianne Sanderson, the choreographer Louie Spence and the actor Christopher Biggins.

Working with Attitude magazine’s foundation, Paddy Power says the donations will "challenge LGBT+ prejudice on and off the field, support footballers and those in the game in coming out, fund educational programmes in schools and colleges, and make grass-roots teams safe spaces for LGBT+ players".

This latest effort comes shortly after another contentious World Cup-related stunt from the bookmaker, which said "sorry" after a controversial polar bear advert prompted a social media backlash.

Poking the bear

The bookmaker has guaranteed the £50,000 minimum donation despite what it calls "Russia's suspiciously easy group".

A Paddy Power spokesman said: "Given that they invented Russian dolls, you’d be forgiven for thinking Russia wouldn’t have an issue with women being into other women.

"Likewise, their appreciation for bears is one shared around the world by the LGBT+ population, so it really is astonishing that they have not used their stewardship of this tournament to champion LGBT+ inclusivity.

"As a result, we’ve stepped in to help. When Russia 'Put-in' a goal, we’ll 'Put-in' £10,000 to Attitude magazine’s foundation, which will use the funds to make football more LGBT+ inclusive. I cannot wait to see the LGBT+ community get behind the Russians – or the Russians’ baffled reaction."

Attitude's publisher, Darren Styles OBE, added: "When Paddy Power approached us with this idea we leapt at the chance. The LGBT+ community has a long history of reclaiming and adopting behaviours, words and styles that were intended to discriminate against us, so for this tournament we’re adopting Russia.

"The World Cup is meant to be about inclusivity, but thanks to the hosts – and those who chose the hosts – this tournament (and the next, in Qatar) is taking place in a nation with laws that discriminate against the LGBT+ population.

"This is completely unacceptable, so we welcome the opportunity to benefit from Russia’s success and make unwitting allies of their national team. It will be hugely satisfying to see a goal from Russia send a message of equal love."

Earlier this month Mastercard faced widespread criticism for its World Cup-related "goals for meals" campaign.
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Paddy Power & Chime Sports seek ‘No Nonsense’ Russia 2018

The first weekend of World Cup Russia 2018, saw Paddy Power launch its first TV advertising campaign under the guidance of new creative agency Chime Sports.

The Irish bookmaker debuted the first TV advert of its new campaign series ‘Paddy Power – Enough of the Nonsense’, competing for brand coverage during a saturated Russia 2018 opening weekend.

“While VAR is sorting out the decisions on the pitch, Paddy Power is here to help sort out differences off the pitch; putting the world to rights one video replay at a time.” details Paddy Power on the launch of the campaign.

Entering 2018, Paddy Power marketing announced that it had undertaken a ‘creative switch’, ending its long-term partnership with Lucky Generals for Chime Group Communications’ sports marketing agency Chime Sports.

Presenting Paddy Power Betfair 2017 results, new Group Chief Executive Peter Jackson, outlined his initial leadership goal of ‘returning Paddy Power back to growth’.

Outlining strategic priorities, Jackson stated that Paddy Power would significantly increase its marketing spend, stating that the legacy bookmaker’s marketing coverage had been below the ‘level needed to operate as a mass market brand’.

Leading Jackson’s new vision, Paddy Power has restructured its marketing division. In Q1 2018, the bookmaker confirmed that appointment of former RTE Media executive Michelle Spillane as new Marketing & Brand Director.

Spillane has been tasked with building Paddy Power’s new brand proposition within the saturated UK and Irish betting markets.

Working alongside Chime Sports, can the Paddy Power brand make its statement on Russia 2018, a unique period in which all UK bookmakers are refreshing their advertising campaigns…
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PADDY POWER TO BRING MOBILE ‘DRUNK TANK’ TO ROYAL ASCOT

Irish bookmaker Paddy Power is bringing a mobile ‘drunk tank’ to Royal Ascot this week in a bid to “curtail the spate of booze-fuelled brawls at race meetings in the UK”.



Following news that racegoers could be breathalysed or refused admission if they’ve been drinking, Paddy Power has decided to take matters into its own hands by bringing its drunk tank to the streets of Ascot.

Earlier this year, officials at Goodwood racecourse said that they would be putting a cap on alcohol sales after a major fight broke out at the first fixture of the season. In addition, Sussex Police and sniffer dogs will now be present at all race meets to prevent future altercations and drugs being smuggled into the venue.

Paddy Power has said it will be using wheelbarrows to transport drunken punters from Ascot’s streets, giving them time to sober up inside the 6×2 metre drunk tank mounted on a lorry.

The initiative will provide accommodation for fifty tanked up revellers and features a hydraulic tail lift “for ease of loading”.

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The bookmaker added: “Every year we watch thousands of dapper gents and glamorous ladies descending on Ascot. But the mere whiff of a Prosecco cork seems to set them off. By the second race they’re rolling around the Royal enclosure like wild animals.

“Our drunk tank team will be patrolling the streets of Ascot to ensure the drunks don’t spoil things for residents and decent race-loving folk”.

Paddy Power is predicting that over £100 million will be placed on bets at Ascot this week.
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Paddy Power – Bookmakers face ‘toughest call’ on Mercury Music Prize 2018

This week’s announcement by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) of the twelve UK contemporary music albums competing for the ‘2018 Mercury Music Prize’ has perplexed UK bookmakers.

The annual music and songwriting prize aims to reward the best album released by a British or Irish recording artist/band. The Mercury Prize’s history is littered with upsets, however, its 2018 edition maybe the hardest ever to call.

Making this year’s Mercury shortlist, are four of the UK’s most successful contemporary recording artists in; Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Lilly Allen, The Arctic Monkeys and Florence & The Machine.

Nevertheless, featuring a closed judging panel which selects its winner on the night, the Mercury Prize does not favour artist album sales or recognised names, leading to much controversy.

Speaking to SBC, Lee Price Head of PR for Paddy Power details that the bookmaker has placed London Jazz band Sons of Kemet’s ‘Your Queen is a Reptile’ and Tyneside post-pink singer Nadine Shah’s ‘Holiday Destination’ as 5/1 early Mercury Prize favourites.

“This is a wide open betting event with joint-favourites at 5/1 (Sons of Kemet & Nadine Shah). This implies both of them have something in the region of a 16% chance of winning the award, reflecting how close it is” Price details.

“Sons of Kemet is the only jazz genre representative and, as such, would be a bit of an unknown quantity. That, coupled with the underlying story that the album is a tribute to “nine remarkable black women” and their efforts to create a jazz masterpiece, would also be factored into their favourable pricing.”

Despite the fact that the bigger names, will likely attract the market’s interest and wagers, Price details that Paddy Power will stick to its guns.

At present, the bookmaker has priced Noel Gallagher, Lilly Allen, the Arctics and Florence, jointly at 8/1

“It’s always a difficult award to predict given the range of genres covered and also the spectrum across which the entrants are generated – for example, you can end up with debut albums (e.g. Everything is Recorded this year) going up against well-established names. Part of the Mercury Prize’s shtick is being unpredictable. Which is great, just not for bookies.”

Paddy Power – Mercury Music Prize 2018 Odds

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Paddy Power Betfair reveals 20 per cent growth in first half US revenues

Paddy Power Betfair plc has reported revenues ahead by 20 per cent in the US in its freshly published results for the six months ended June 30, 2018. Breaking down that figure, sports revenue was up 12 per cent, with gaming making up the remaining eight per cent. In its Q2 presentation, the firm’s stated priorities for the US market are to maintain fantasy sports and horseracing growth and achieve sports betting scale in key states.

Updating investors, chief executive Peter Jackson said: “It has been a busy and successful few months for Paddy Power Betfair. We have made substantial progress against our strategic priorities and trading in Q2 was good, with all brands and operating divisions contributing to the Group’s double-digit revenue growth.

“In the USA, we were delighted to add FanDuel to the group’s portfolio of leading sports brands, creating the industry’s largest online business, with a large sports-focused customer base and an extensive nationwide footprint. Our FanDuel sportsbook is now available in New Jersey and with our recent partnership with Boyd Gaming we’re looking forward to launching in further states as the legislation progresses.

“We now have much better visibility of the regulatory and fiscal changes in the UK, Australia and the USA, and believe that our scale, leading customer propositions and strong balance sheet mean we are well positioned to build a business that can generate sustainable shareholder returns over the long term.”

Headline figures:

*H1 revenue up 7%, with Q1 flat and Q2 up 13% (up 9% in period pre-World Cup)

* Good Q2 revenue growth in all operating divisions: – Online: revenue up 13% with sports +12% and gaming +14% – Australia: revenue up 19% – Retail: revenue up 6% – USA: revenue up 20%

* H1 underlying1 EBITDA2 up 1% to £217m, or up 6% excluding changes in betting taxes & levies and losses in DRAFT (Q1 flat, Q2 up 13%)

* Net cash of £148m at 30 June; £201m returned to shareholders via dividends & share buybacks in H1 Strategic and operational highlights: • Good progress on returning the Paddy Power brand to growth

Full year 2018 underlying EBITDA, pre-US sports betting, now expected to be between £460m and £480m, reflecting recent trading momentum, the introduction of additional taxes in Australia and the inclusion of losses from the FanDuel daily fantasy sports business
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Nigel Eccles sues Paddy Power Betfair for ‘purposely undervaluing’ FanDuel

US Tech news source Recode has reported that FanDuel enterprise co-founder Nigel Eccles (former CEO) is preparing to take Paddy Power Betfair (PP😎 to court, regarding its $465 million takeover of FanDuel completed in July 2018.

Eccles representatives have filed a Scottish court order against PPB, representing four of FanDuel’s enterprise co-founders; Nigel Eccles, wife Lesley Eccles (former CMO), Tom Griffiths (former CPO) and Rob Jones (corporate advisor).

As reported, the founding team seeks approximately $120 million in compensation for the sale of FanDuel to PPB.

The plaintiffs claim that the transaction had been purposely undervalued, by not taking into account changes to US market conditions following the repeal of federal PASPA laws, which would liberalise the US sports betting market, increasing FanDuel’s enterprise valuation.

At the time of PPB’s transaction, the founding team had departed the company to pursue new ventures. However, the founders maintained a substantial ‘non-preferred’ share arrangement, attached to FanDuel’s future outcome.

“The decision of the board (whose interests are aligned with preference shareholders), not to seek and act upon a new market valuation in the face of a material event, which is likely to have significantly increased the market valuation of FanDuel, is a breach of its fiduciary duties,” the petition reads.

Reacting to a new US landscape, last May PPB governance moved to acquire FanDuel’s enterprise outright for $465 million.

Significantly expanding its US footprint, PPB governance would create a new US-specific subsidiary, merging FanDuel DFS properties with Betfair’s existing US wagering division.

Completing the transaction, PPB would retain a majority 61% controlling stake in the new US venture, with FanDuel’s numerous venture investors approving the deal.

The transaction’s make-up would mean those holders’ of ‘non-preferred shares’ would not be rewarded for the sale of FanDuel, as certain venture investors would receive preferential pay-outs.

In the Scottish court filing, Eccles representatives demand that FanDuel’s enterprise valuation be recalculated.
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Paddy Power Betfair renews FTP drive with SportCaller

Free-to-play industry games developer SportCaller extends its two-year partnership with FTSE100 betting group Paddy Power Betfair (PP😎 announcing the launch of a new ‘Beat The Drop’ game.

SportCaller and PPB had previously launched the ‘Beat The Drop’ FTP game during World Cup Russia 2018, with the title receiving great acclaim whilst beating partnership expectations.

With the new European football season underway, PPB launches a new promotion giving every player 30 days of free games.

“Every player is given a starting pot of £1k, which they must try to hold onto over the course of answering 10 simple Yes-or-No questions.

This free-to-play contest turns the tables on the customary operator-customer relationship by giving the customer their winnings up front. Players can “split the pot” or “bet the lot” by backing their footballing judgement across a series of coin-flip questions” details SportCaller in its corporate update.

Updating the market, SportCaller MD Cillian Barry said: “It’s so rewarding for our games to have been integrated by such a renowned name as Paddy Power Betfair, and it’s great to see that Beat The Drop is already proving its worth, breaking new thresholds for trackable engagement and activity.

“Beat The Drop has been a significant new field of development for SportCaller, taking a very strong idea from Paddy Power Betfair and bringing the concept to life. It’s just the latest star striker from our ever-expanding squad

The arrangement sees PPB extend its partnership with SportCaller, detailing that its FTP games have proven vital to developing new audience dynamics, whilst improving vital operating dynamics such as retention, customer lifecycle and product engagements.

Stephen McMeel, Acquisition & Emerging Products Manager at Paddy Power Betfair, said: “Beat The Drop was an instant hit with our customers. Discernible spikes in activity levels and retention have already followed, with Beat The Drop’s simple format and engaging gameplay giving players an interest in all their preferred matches alongside the chance to win £1m.

“We found that all subsequent paid-for entries also surpassed our expectations. Retention will be at a premium over the current Premier League campaign. So, it’s great to be working more closely with SportCaller’s proactive team to better unpack conversion rates and understand true customer value.”
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Product shrewd Paddy Power Betfair confident of future prospects

The governance of FTSE100 Paddy Power Betfair (PP😎 is confident of delivering on its full-year corporate expectations, following a robust Q3 2018 trading period, in which the company has made significant progress on its US agenda.

Publishing its Q3 2018 (period ending 30 September) trading update, PPB records a 12% increase in group revenues to £483 million, with PPB governance underlining digital growth generated through product enhancements and optimized marketing campaigns.

“Q3 was a good quarter for the Group,” explained Peter Jackson, Paddy Power Betfair Group CEO. “In Europe, the encouraging momentum that we saw in Q2 accelerated further, with online revenue up 15%. This momentum, which was evident in both Paddy Power and Betfair, is driven by enhancements in product and good execution in promotions and marketing.”

The FTSE betting group, details that it was able to maintain its strong post World Cup Russia 2018 customer activity, with strong take-up of market enhancements such as ‘Same-game-multis’ and ‘Power-up personalized price boosts’ running alongside promotional products such as ‘Beat the Drop’.

Closing a busy Q3 2018 trading period, PPB declares a flat EBITDA of £104 million, with the betting group having to undertake several costs adjustments to complete its US strategic joint-venture with FanDuel.

Completed this July 2018, PPB governance details strong initial core metrics and KPIs for its new FanDuel US property – FanDuel DFS + Betfair TVG.

“In the US, the exciting potential of the sports betting opportunity and the strength of our strategic positioning has been evidenced by our experience to date in New Jersey,” said Jackson. “FanDuel recorded a 30% share of the sports betting market in September, driven by a market-leading customer proposition, our strong brand presence and the ability to cross-sell from our fantasy sports player base.”

Moving forward PPB governance is confident of the firm’s global future prospects, operating within Australia, the US and new European markets, as the FTSE enterprise faces increased challenges in its home markets of the UK and Ireland – with incoming increased betting/gambling duties, compliance costs and tougher regulatory outlook.

Jackson added: “Overall, we are pleased with the substantial progress we continue to make against our strategic priorities. Our continued investment in brands and customer proposition means that all our businesses will exit the year with enhanced competitive positioning.

“Together with our scale and strong balance sheet this means we are better positioned to face the significant regulatory and fiscal headwinds that apply next year and to capitalise on the long-term industry growth opportunity.”

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