UK digital sports group Perform raises £120m for acquisitions

UK digital sports media company Perform Group Plc (LON:PER) announced today it will raise around GBP120m (USD183m/EUR141m) via a private placement to fund its planned purchase of Opta Sports Data Ltd and some other potential acquisitions.

In a statement, Perform said it plans to place up to 23.9m new ordinary shares, representing a stake of about 9.99%, with both existing and new institutional investors. Morgan Stanley Securities Ltd, Morgan Stanley & Co International plc and UBS Ltd will be acting as bookrunners and corporate brokers.

The group will acquire Opta for around GBP40m to strengthen its position in the supply of sports data and statistics, more specifically in the consumer and media segment. Perform said it is focused on buying either domestic businesses in new geographies, direct to‘consumer products and platforms or complementary products and services.

The firm added it hopes that any additional acquisition would help it deliver further growth in revenues and earnings over time.

London-listed sports content firm Perform agrees to acquire Swiss rival RunningBall

British multimedia sports content distributor Perform Group plc (LON:PER) said on Wednesday it will take over Swiss real-time sports data provider RunningBall Holding AG for a maximum of EUR120m (USD152.5m) in cash and stock.

The move will boost the number of licensees Perform has, as well as the average number of events which are currently acquired by its existing ones. The group’s directors believe that the combination of its own sports editorial and video products with RunningBall’s sports data will improve the buyer’s solid growth prospects significantly.
The transaction is seen to build on the group’s earnings and EPS in both 2012 and 2013.

Under the terms of the deal, a unit of Perform will acquire the two holding companies of RunningBall for an initial amount of EUR70m, including EUR20m in cash and 13.5m new ordinary shares. Furthermore, the group will make an additional cash payment of between EUR31m and EUR50m, based on a nine times multiple to the target company’s audited EBITDA for 2012.

The buyer intends to use its existing cash resources to fund the cash portion of the initial consideration, while the deferred amount will be financed from new debt facilities.

Last year, RunningBall produced real-time data coverage of more than 35,000 sporting events and expects to increase this figure to 40,000 in 2012. The firm has operational centres in Austria, Portugal, Cyprus and Malaysia with over 1,100 scouts in more than 70 countries. It booked an EBITDA of EUR7.2m on a revenue of EUR16.1m in 2011.