Sky Bet to be sold to private equity

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Sky is to sell its online betting business Sky Bet to private equity firm ​CVC Capital Partners in a deal that values the betting firm at £800m.

Leeds-based Sky Bet, which also runs gaming websites such as Sky Vegas and the odds comparison site Oddschecker, will be 80 per cent owned by funds advised by​​ CVC once the deal completes early next year.

​Sky Bet will remain in Leeds with all staff moving to the new entity, including managing director Richard Flint.

Sky, which will receive an initial £600​m on completion of the deal, said the disposal will enable it to focus on the “significant opportunity” for growth in pay TV across the five European markets in which it operates.

Sky will retain a stake of about 20​ per cent​ in the betting and gaming business and has entered into a long-term brand licence agreement with Sky Bet.

The broadcaster’s chief executive Jeremy Darroch said: “In the last 10 years, we have successfully grown Sky Bet from a start-up to one of the leading online betting and gaming companies in the UK.”

CVC has experience in the betting and gaming sector through previous investments in companies such as William Hill and IG Group.

In the year to June, the business generated net revenues of £182​m and profits before tax of £50​m.

Sky now serves 20 million customers following the company’s recent acquisition of Sky Italia and a majority interest in Sky Deutschland.