Sporting Index, the ten-year old UK gambling and spread betting business, has confirmed that it is in talks with Duke Street Capital over a £55m offer for the business.
Sporting Index, founded by Compton Hellyer in 1992, has a 50 per cent share of the UK spread betting market and also offers conventional gambling services, with horse racing accounting for a quarter of its betting.
Duke Street Capital is backing current chief executive Richard Glynn for the acquisition. The deal comes two years after leisure group Enic failed with a £50m offer for the company.
The deal will provide two of Sporting Index’s private equity backers with a strong exit on their original investment. UK investment club Pi Capital has made two sizeable investments in the business, including a £3m commitment in May 1999.
The Times newspaper reports that shareholders who backed the company in 1992 will achieve a ten-fold return on their investment.