SkyBet’s majority owner, CVC Capital, has reportedly hired bankers from Rothschild to assist with an initial public offering for the online gaming firm, with the aim of raising up to £3bn.
The target figure would represent one of the sharpest valuation curves in recent years. When the private equity firm first acquired its controlling stake in SkyBet in 2014, it valued the business then at just £800m.
Neither CVC nor SkyBet have yet commented on the news, but according to Reuters, people close to the deal suggest a price tag of between £2.5bn and $3bn could be achieved through flotation – and that Rothschild has been hired to explore the potential listing.
Under management of CEO Richard Flint, SkyBet’s revenues grew by 38 percent in 2017, to £516m, with customers rising by 31 percent 2.6 million.
Being an online operation makes it a relatively attractive proposition for investors, amidst rising regulation on retail products, as is diversification abroad under its media namesake, Sky.
Sky, which itself is still the target of a £11.7bn takeover from Twenty-First Century Fox, is in the process of acquiring control of Sky Deutschland and Sky Italia.
SkyBet has hired staff for offices in Germany, although regulatory uncertainty there could make the market infeasible for some time, and has already begun operations in Italy.