Perform Group Close in on £40m Purchase of Opta Sports Data

July 3, 2013

Digital sports media group PERFORM has announced the proposed acquisition of sports data company Opta for £40m ($61m).

PERFORM are owned by billionaire Len Blavatnik and will take over Opta conditional on a successful £120m ($183m) fundraising.

Opta is a market leader in collecting, ed packaging, analysing and distributing sports data in digital format to the media, betting and professional sports sectors.

Their clients include the Premier League, German Bundesliga, The ERC and the England and Wales Cricket Board, amongst others.

Oliver Slipper, joint CEO of PERFORM said the deal would allow the company to capitalise on the growing demand for sports statistics.

Slipper said: “We felt over the past year or two that sports data for the media sector?.?.?.?is becoming a more and more important part of their content mix.”

The £40m ($61m) purchase price could be increased by a performance-based incentive of up to £7m ($10.7m) that has been offered to Opta managers.

An official statement read: “The proposed acquisition would strengthen both PERFORM and Opta’s position in key European markets and would enhance PERFORM’s current portfolio of sports content solutions.

“Opta would also enable PERFORM to maximise the significant consumer opportunity in rich data by integrating Opta’s suite of products into PERFORM’s direct to consumer platforms, including leading global football site Goal.”

Patrick Yau, analyst at Peel Hunt, is reported as saying in the Financial Times: “This consolidates its critical mass in the industry and further raises the barriers to entry to prospective competitors, of which there are currently few.”

Yau also said that whilst the deal was ‘not particularly cheap,’ it did make ‘good strategic sense.’

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