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Sportingbet Sells Turkish Website

14 October 2011 by admin

sportingbetIn a move to make the company more appealing to buyers and investors, Sportingbet Plc reached an agreement to sell its Turkish website to East Pioneer Corporation. Sportingbet, the online betting company located in England, will sell its Turkish website for approximately £125 million. The move will temporarily cost the firm money, but is expected to strengthen them in the long run.

Turkey is an unregulated market for online gambling. Sportingbet has operated there tax free for some time, but a decision was made to move its business solely into regulated markets. The regulated markets have lower profits for online casinos and betting sites, but also come with lower risks and higher stock prices.

“We believe the unregulated income stream drags down the group,” said Sportingbet CEO Andrew McIver in a telephone interview with Bloomberg. McIver said that the company always planned to ditch Turkey at some point and this was a good time to do so.

Earlier this week, their negotiations with Ladbrokes fell apart due in part to the Turkey market. Ladbrokes wants to purchase Sportingbet, but considers the business in Turkey a liability. By selling the Turkish website, Sportingbet should be more attractive to Ladbrokes, who has said that they are still interested in a deal but not willing to rush into anything.

For some time, Ladbrokes has tried to grow its company to compete with the larger William Hill. Four years ago, Ladbrokes was in lengthy negotiations to buy 888 Holdings, but that deal eventually fell apart. Then again this year Ladbrokes again negotiated with 888 to buy the gambling website but eventually walked away because the two companies could not agree on a price.

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