Perform Buying And WatchandTrade Sport Sites


Credit: Shutterstock / microcozm

Digital sports rights company Perform has bought out two online sports firms in deals worth almost £10 ($15.55)m.

Perform, which listed on the stock exchange earlier this year and counts US billionaire Leonard Blavatnik as its largest shareholder, has exercised its option to buy the 49% of Global Sport Media it does not already own.

Sports statistics company GSM, which was founded in 2000, owns the football information website and live score portal

Perform, which is perhaps best known for delivering the online-only broadcast of the England v Ukraine football World Cup qualifier in 2009, has paid €4.3 ($5.62/£3.61)m (£3.6 ($5.59)m) in cash to acquire GSM. Perform acquired a 51% interest in GSM in January 2009 for €500,000. ($653,200/£420,275)

Perform also struck a deal worth up to £5.85 ($9.09)m to buy the 40% stake in WatchandTrade, which delivers live sports video content to sportsbooks, that it does not already control. The company took a 60% stake in January 2010 for £60,000. ($93253.22)

Perform will pay an initial cash payment of £550,000 ($854821.25) with a maximum payout of £5.85 ($9.09)m “based on an agreed multiple calculation of the full-year ebitda [earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation] results of the business for the years ending 31 December 2011, 2012 and 2013”.

Analysts Credit Suisse noted that Perform contols 67% in Sportal Australia with a contractual obligation to acquire the last 22% in two 11% tranches this year and in 2012.

Credit Suisse has forecast that Perform will have £70 ($108.8)m in cash after the two deals were announced on Friday and believes investors were “waiting for them to put the cash to work”.

“Today’s announcements will be a minor relief that this is beginning to happen (albeit relatively small as already acknowledged) but we believe larger-scale acquisitions will likely take place in 2012 given the group’s statement at IPO that they had highlighted multiple potential targets,” it said in an analyst note.

This article originally appeared in MediaGuardian.

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