A merger agreement between Ireland’s largest bookmaker, Paddy Power and Betfair, one of the United Kingdom‘s largest online gaming operators, will create an online betting and gaming company that will be one of the largest in the world based on revenue.
The details of the agreement are still being worked out, but according to the companies, 52 percent of the combined group would be owned by Paddy Power, while shareholders of Betfair would own 48 percent. In addition to Paddy Power’s 52 percent, upon completion of the deal a special dividend of 80 million euros ($91.7 million) would be received by their shareholders. Gary McGann, Paddy Power’s chairman would be the chairman of the merged group, and Chief Executive Breon Corcoran would serve as CEO, with further terms of the agreement under discussion.
In the last few years, the companies’ combined revenues are estimated at more than 1.1 billion pounds, and they say that the size of the merged group will aid them in competing with new and existing markets. According to industry data, the merged group would lead the online market in the UK with a 16 percent share. Corcoran said, “We fundamentally believe this industry is all about scale. By putting together two distinct but phenomenally strong brands, we’ll have a market leading position in the UK, Ireland, Australia and in the United States.” He was confident that any competition concerns could be addressed and overcome given the nature of the two companies.
Founded in 1988 by the merging of three Irish bookmakers, Paddy Power is the third largest online bookmaker, while Betfair is a betting exchange that eliminates the customers need for a traditional bookmaker.