Betfred tables huge offer for South African racing operator Phumulela

Betfred could buy South African racing operator Phumulela

English gambling company Betfred has tabled a ZAR925m offer for the struggling Phumulela, the biggest horse racing operator in South Africa.

But their chief rival in the buyout Mary Oppenheimer and Daughters has hit out at Betfred, claiming they had copied elements of their proposal including a line of credit to immediately satisfy bad debt.

The Oppenheimer family are one of the most wealthy and influential in Africa, with their roots in the mining industry, while Betfred is a well-known UK gambling company.

Betfred’s offer to buy the struggling company, which has been hit hard by the Covid-19 shutdown in South Africa, includes an initial payment of ZAR875m. A deferred 50m consideration will be paid if the company hits certain financial targets during a buyout period.

A loan of ZAR650m will also be provided by Betfred to the totalizer betting operator to pay debts that have ballooned over the last five months.

The catch with Betfred’s offer is they have given Phumulela until September 1 to accept, or they will be withdrawing from the process.

“Our intention with this offer is to reinvigorate a struggling industry and, in doing so, facilitate economic growth, job creation and access to international markets and best practices,” Betfred said.

“Furthermore, the investment by an experienced multinational corporation into South Africa is likely to result in enhanced growth and opportunities for South Africa.”

Betfred would be the latest big-name international gambling company to enter South Africa, with Sportingbet and Betway already operating their corporate bookmaker businesses in the country.

Because they already have much of the technology, it would not surprise if Betfred was to expand in the South African market, if they were successful in their acquisition which could prove a huge win for punters.

Betfred was founded in 1967 by Fred and Peter Done and was known as Done Bookmakers until 2004. This move was to keep up in the digital age, and at this time they also launched Betfred.com, which has become one of the top betting sites in the world.

The company is mainly known for its first-rate betting, horse racing and casino product in the highly-competitive United Kingdom gambling market.

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