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Flutter Entertainment taps investors for cash as it bets on growth plan

LaToya Harding
Flutter Entertainment 

Flutter Entertainment, the owner of Paddy Power Betfair, has tapped investors for cash to ramp up its expansion plans and shore up its finances.

The Irish betting group, which recently acquired The Stars Group, owner of Poker Stars, said it intends to secure funds through the placing of just over eight million shares worth €0.09 each in an equity raise. 

The shares will be placed imminently and commence trading next Tuesday.

As part of the placing, Fox Corporation will increase its investment in Flutter.

“The group believes that the current operating environment is likely to result in longer-term changes to the sector landscape which will lead to further opportunities,” it said in a statement.

"The placing will better position the group to move quickly to capitalise on such opportunities should they arise, accelerating its four-pillar strategy and consolidating its market leadership positions."

It came as the company posted a 10pc jump in group revenues in the second quarter compared to a year ago, despite disruption to global sports due to the coronavirus pandemic. Its US and Australian arms also rose 61pc and 56pc respectively. 

Markets Hub - Flutter Entertainment

The company said it had managed to offset the loss of its sports revenue by the continuation of horse racing in Australia and the US, as well as the popularity of gaming products.

It added that poker and gaming revenues grew as they "benefited from strong customer engagement" during the lockdown period.

Peter Jackson, chief executive, said: “As with many other sectors, in betting and gaming there have been stark impacts as much of the world has gone into lockdown, with some parts of the sector struggling and others thriving as consumers change their purchasing habits. 

“Today we are starting to look more directly to the future in terms of planning for growth whilst we continue to benefit from our product and geographical diversification as the unpredictable situation unfolds”.

On Tuesday, the Government confirmed that betting shops will be among the high street firms able to reopen their doors to customers on June 15.