DSC prepares Sporting Index MBO

Duke Street Capital is in talks with the privately owned company which controls 50 per cent of the UK spread betting market.

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.