PADDY POWER has agreed to purchase the remaining minority shareholding of Australia's largest corporate bookmaker, Sportsbet Party Limited.

Paddy Power has held a majority stake in the Melbourne-based firm since May 2009 and will now take over the remaining 39.2 percent in a deal that will initially cost it AU$132.6 million (Ђ100.9 million) with a maximum additional consideration of up to AU$25 million payable if Sportsbet's earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation exceed AU$80 million in 2013. Paddy Power revealed that the deal is subject to shareholder approval but is expected to be completed by the end of February.

"When we acquired 51 percent of Sportsbet in 2009, we were confident that we were investing in a business with strong potential in a growing market," said Patrick Kennedy, Chief Executive Officer for Paddy Power.

"That confidence has been borne out-and some. It's a cracking business. The team has made great strides in marrying the best of both Sportsbet and Paddy Power. This is a good deal to acquire the remaining shares early, which will allow us to drive development and investment and secure full participation in the upside of the business."

Paddy Power stated that it will be funding the deal by paying just over AU$110.10 million (Ђ83.8m) in cash from existing reserves while also issuing 18.5 million of new shares priced at Ђ29.17 each.
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