Betaland Sale Imminent?

GVC claims returns no longer justify the risks involved

A report arrived this week that GVC Holdings plc's Maltese subsidiary, GVC Corporation Limited has decided to sell its Betaland sportsbook, and that it has already closed a deal on the sale for a nominal sum.

The buyer of the failed sportsbook is "....not owned by GVC, nor any of its officers, shareholders or directors, but is an entirely independent company incorporated in Malta. Within 24 months of completion the transferee has agreed to change its name to a name which cannot be reasonably interpreted as being associated with the GVC Group."

In an explanation of the reasons for the decision to get rid of the five-year-old business, GVC Holdings said that the returns on Betaland no longer justify the risks involved with its operation.

According to the company spokesman, the deal is conditional upon the Lotteries and Gaming Authority's assent. He also added that "the proposed disposal is on a debt and cash free basis and for nil consideration. The transferee has agreed to take-on the majority of the staff of the business thus saving GVC significant redundancy costs. Notice to terminate the lease housing these Maltese based staff has been terminated effective 30 June 2012 at minimal cost."

It has been stated by GVC Holdings chief executive, Kenneth Alexander, that the disposal would not impact the group's dividend strategy, and that "the declining profitability of Betaland led the board of GVC to conclude it should exit this market.'

He also added: 'By transferring Betaland to an independent third party, GVC will have sheltered itself and its shareholders from the costs associated with the closure of this business as well as the potential to settle liabilities to customers directly.

"GVC's remaining B2C brands CasinoClub and Betboo, along with its B2B activities, remain robust"

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