British bookmaking giant Betfred has reportedly secured a foothold in the potentially-lucrative South African market following its purchase for approximately £6.1 million ($8.7 million) of the online sportsbetting domain at BettingWorld.co.za.
According to a report from SBC News, the acquisition concluded last week but remains subject to final adjustments associated with the net capital of working items. The source detailed that the transaction was conducted via the Warrington-headquartered buyer’s recently-established Betfred South Africa enterprise after previous owner Phumelela Gaming and Leisure Limited filed for bankruptcy protections last summer.
Established in 1967, Betfred currently operates well over 1,500 retail betting shops spread across the United Kingdom while its Petfre (Gibraltar) Limited subordinate is responsible for the online sportsbetting domain at Betfred.com. The company last year attempted to buy Phumelela Gaming and Leisure Limited for around £39.2 million ($55.6 million) but was purportedly left disappointed when its bid was ultimately rejected in favor of a rival offer from London-based private equity investor Mary Oppenheimer Daughters.
Johannesburg-headquartered Phumelela Gaming and Leisure Limited is responsible for four horseracing facilities in South Africa including the prestigious Turffontein Racecourse but was reportedly placed into administration last year after struggling with debts valued at over £25.3 million ($36 million). Its dire situation was purportedly not helped by the coronavirus-related suspension of South Africa’s racing calendar along with its inability to secure additional investors.
iGamingBusiness.com used its own report on the matter to disclose that Phumelela Gaming and Leisure Limited made moves to cease trading in December after being de-listed from the Johannesburg bourse. This source explained that moves such as these normally result in businesses being broken up in order to repay creditors with new owner Mary Oppenheimer Daughters having recently asserted that all existing beneficiaries had already been paid or would be satisfied by the end of November.
Numerous industry experts have reportedly predicted that Betfred’s purchase of BettingWorld.co.za is due to be transformative for the online sportsbetting landscape in Africa’s second richest nation. Licensed by the Gauteng Gambling Board, the domain already offers markets on a range of sporting competitions including those involving soccer, cricket and rugby as well as horseracing events taking place across the globe while its new owner could now purportedly look to boost interest by premiering a range of special offers and promotions.
Although Betfred has yet to officially comment on its latest acquisition, the bookmaker is reportedly set to enter a market that has up to now been strictly fenced for local incumbents. Such a bold move could purportedly result in BettingWorld.co.za becoming one of the go-to brands for South African online sportsbetting aficionados and see its new owner significantly benefit financially.