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Sportingbet Sells Turkish Business

Sportingbet has announced the sale of its Turkish-language Superbahis website to East Pioneer, a group backed by GVC Holdings, for at least £125 million. The site and assets will be transferred upon completion of the deal, and Sportingbet will receive approximately 67% of the business’ profits for the next three years and 25% in the fourth year.

Sportingbet and GVC Holdings have been trying to reach a deal since August, and the sale is expected to pave the way for Ladbrokes—which called off talks earlier this week—to take over the London-listed operator.

By dumping Turkey and focusing on plans to enter three soon-to-be-regulated markets in Europe (Denmark, Greece and Spain), Sportingbet is becoming the online operator most focused on regulated markets.

“Following this disposal, Sportingbet will derive the large majority of its earnings from regulated territories,” Chief Executive Andrew McIver said.

Simon French, an equity analyst at Panmure Gordon, estimates that the Turkish exit will leave roughly two thirds of Sportingbet’s revenues stemming from regulated markets.

Sportingbet shares were up 2% on the London Stock Exchange after rising as much as 6% on the news. The company’s stock price has dropped 36% this year, giving Sportingbet a market value of £260 million.

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