Five questions answered on Betfair’s rejection of CVC Capital’s takeover bid

CVC shot down.

Online gambling firm Betfair has rejected CVC Capital Partners’ take over bid. We answer five questions on why the company rejected the bid.

What offer did CVC Capital Partners make to Betfair?

CVC, which also owns Formula 1, made a preliminary bid of 880p per share to take over Betfair, offering the company around £912m in total.

Why did Betfair reject this bid?

According to The Telegraph, the company said in a statement released today that the offer “fundamentally undervalues the Company and its attractive prospects".

According to the market, how much is Betfair worth?

On Friday shares in Betfair closed at 805p, which values the business at about £834m.

What else has Betfair said?

Betfair's chairman, Gerald Corbett, speaking to The Telegraph, said: "We have a unique business with a market position, profitability, cash flow and prospects that this proposal fails to recognise.”

He added: "We will provide an update to the market on 7 May 2013 to set out the good progress we are making in the implementation of our strategy, including cost efficiencies, and our recent trading performance."

How well have Betfair done in recent years?

The company, which was founded in 2000 by Ed Wray – a former JP Morgan trader – and former professional gambler Andrew Black, has struggled over the last two-and-a-half years that it has been a public company.

Its shares fell dramatically from its IPO price of £13 a share, following an over-hyped flotation, and last December it announced it was pulling out of Russia and Canada because of their unclear gambling regulations, despite the fact the markets made up almost a quarter of the company’s revenue.

Photograph: Getty Images

Heidi Vella is a features writer for Nridigital.com

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How Theresa May laid a trap for herself on the immigration target

When Home Secretary, she insisted on keeping foreign students in the figures – causing a headache for herself today.

When Home Secretary, Theresa May insisted that foreign students should continue to be counted in the overall immigration figures. Some cabinet colleagues, including then Business Secretary Vince Cable and Chancellor George Osborne wanted to reverse this. It was economically illiterate. Current ministers, like the Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, Chancellor Philip Hammond and Home Secretary Amber Rudd, also want foreign students exempted from the total.

David Cameron’s government aimed to cut immigration figures – including overseas students in that aim meant trying to limit one of the UK’s crucial financial resources. They are worth £25bn to the UK economy, and their fees make up 14 per cent of total university income. And the impact is not just financial – welcoming foreign students is diplomatically and culturally key to Britain’s reputation and its relationship with the rest of the world too. Even more important now Brexit is on its way.

But they stayed in the figures – a situation that, along with counterproductive visa restrictions also introduced by May’s old department, put a lot of foreign students off studying here. For example, there has been a 44 per cent decrease in the number of Indian students coming to Britain to study in the last five years.

Now May’s stubbornness on the migration figures appears to have caught up with her. The Times has revealed that the Prime Minister is ready to “soften her longstanding opposition to taking foreign students out of immigration totals”. It reports that she will offer to change the way the numbers are calculated.

Why the u-turn? No 10 says the concession is to ensure the Higher and Research Bill, key university legislation, can pass due to a Lords amendment urging the government not to count students as “long-term migrants” for “public policy purposes”.

But it will also be a factor in May’s manifesto pledge (and continuation of Cameron’s promise) to cut immigration to the “tens of thousands”. Until today, ministers had been unclear about whether this would be in the manifesto.

Now her u-turn on student figures is being seized upon by opposition parties as “massaging” the migration figures to meet her target. An accusation for which May only has herself, and her steadfast politicising of immigration, to blame.

Anoosh Chakelian is senior writer at the New Statesman.

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