No decisions made over possible stock market debut, says Sky Bet

Sky Betting & Gaming has stressed that no decisions have been made about a possible flotation, after a report said that the Leeds-based firm could make a £1.5bn stock market debut next year.
Richard Flint  of Sky Betting and Gaming.Richard Flint  of Sky Betting and Gaming.
Richard Flint of Sky Betting and Gaming.

The Sunday Telegraph reported that private equity giant CVC was in the early stages of planning a flotation for Sky Bet.

The paper said it was understood the private equity firm was considering a float early next year in co-operation with pay-TV giant Sky, which still holds a 20 per cent stake in the gambling business.

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Responding to the report, a Sky Betting & Gaming spokesman said: “No decisions have been made or process started regarding these issues.”

Richard Flint, the chief executive of Sky Betting & Gaming, has previously stated that CVC would exit the business at some stage, and an IPO (official public offering) is the most likely option.

In July, a report from Oxford Economics revealed that Sky Bet pumped £143m into Yorkshire’s economy last year, paying some £19m in salaries along the way.

Speaking at the time, Mr Flint said: “Yorkshire is a fantastic place to grow a technology business like ours and this report shows the wider benefits we bring to the region.

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“If the Government maintains its commitment to the Northern Powerhouse and keeps the gambling tax regime competitive we will continue to be at the forefront of Yorkshire and the Humber’s growing digital economy.”

The origins of Sky Betting & Gaming can be traced back to the Sports Internet Group: which was set up in Harrogate in 1999 by a group of Yorkshire entrepreneurs.

In May 2000 BSkyB bought the Sports Internet Group for £300m. In 2010, the company moved to Leeds, and it has enjoyed rapid growth ever since. It now employs around 900 staff.

The firm became independent in 2015, following the sale of its majority share by former parent Sky to CVC Capital Partners.

A CVC spokesman declined to comment on the Sunday Telegraph report.