Standard General pulls out of Sportech talks after latest rejection

New York-based investment fund Standard General has ended talks over a deal to acquire Sportech, after one of the horse race betting operator and technology provider’s shareholders indicated they would not accept its latest offer for the business.


After a 28.5 pence per share offer for the business was rejected in November, Standard General upped its bid to 32.5 pence per share earlier this month.

However, a “significant shareholder” of Sportech informed Standard General that they would only be willing to support a “substantially higher offer”, something the investment business said it was unable to justify.

This meant that Sportech’s board was unwilling to accept the proposal, instead suggesting that other options available - including BetMakers’ acquisition of its global tote business - would provide more value to shareholders.

Standard General has therefore announced that it will not make a further offer for the business, and Sportech has ended talks.

This means that Sportech’s plans to put the £30.9m sale of the global tote business to shareholders at a meeting scheduled for 24 December can proceed.

That deal, announced earlier this month, will see Australian supplier BetMakers acquire Sportech’s tote businesses in the Americas, the UK and Europe, as well as its Quantum Tote betting engine.

The technology processed stakes of $12.2bn in 2019, for clients across 37 countries. In the Americas alone - comprising the US, Canada and Latin America - Sportech provides betting solutions, hardware and operational services to more than 200 racetracks, casinos and betting venues to more than 50 customers.

Provided it secures backing from shareholders, the deal is expected to complete in the first half of 2021. BetMakers aims to use the technology and reach to accelerate its US expansion plans.