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Paddy Power Betfair commences share buyback

| By iGB Editorial Team
Goodbody Stockbrokers to oversee £300m scheme

Paddy Power Betfair has commenced a new buyback programme to repurchase £300m (€335m/$385m) of shares from investors.

The bookmaker first revealed the plans after posting its second-quarter results earlier this month, confirming that Irish firm Goodbody Stockbrokers will lead the process.

All shares repurchased by Paddy Power Betfair through the new scheme will be cancelled.

The move follows a similar initiative announced in May, whereby Goldman Sachs agreed to repurchase £200m of the company's shares. This process has now been completed.

Both schemes form part of Paddy Power Betfair’s plans to return £500m of cash to shareholders. Announced alongside the firm’s first-quarter results in May, chief executive Peter Jackson said that the project represents “a step towards a more efficient capital structure, whilst retaining substantial strategic flexibility”.

Paddy Power Betfair’s recent set of results for the second quarter of 2018 made for positive reading, with profit before tax up 4% year-on-year to £106m.

However, it was the US where the bookmaker noted its most exciting prospects, after sports revenue increased 22% in the second quarter and gaming revenue climbed 18%.

The bookmaker said this is only likely to continue to grow as more states move to legalise sports betting in the wake of the Supreme Court ruling on PASPA in May.

Paddy Power Betfair has moved quickly to take advantage of the expanding market, earlier this year acquiring FanDuel and jointly launching sports betting services in a number of states.

FanDuel was ranked as the No.1 sportsbook in New Jersey during the state’s first month of legalised sports betting in July.

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