Paddy Power Betfair targets takeovers in Australia

12 March 2018

Paddy Power Betfair has set out plans to pursue further acquisitions in Australia after missing out on a deal for William Hill’s business in the country.

The company was one of a number parties in the running to take control of the division, but CrownBet, boosted by a recent investment by Stars Group, earlier this month fought off competition to strike a deal worth approximately US$315m (€255.6).

However, Peter Jackson, chief executive of Paddy Power Betfair, has now told The Independent newspaper in Ireland that the company has not been put off from seeking further deals in Australia.

Paddy Power Betfair is active in the country via its Sportsbet brand and holds a significant share of the national market, positioned second only to the recently merged Tabcorp operation.

Jackson said acquiring other businesses in Australia will enhance this position.

“It’s inevitable that some of the smaller players will wave the white flag, because they won’t be able to cope with the fierce competition that's going on in the market and the introduction of the point of consumption tax,” Jackson said.

“You’d expect us to look at opportunities to bolt on our businesses in Australia; we’ll be very disciplined.”

Jackson also spoke of his admiration for the Sportsbet business, saying that the more he learns about the operation, the “‘more impressed” he is.

“I also believe there are learnings we can apply to our European operations from our success in the Australian market,” Jackson added.

Related articles: Sports betting drives revenue growth at Paddy Power Betfair
CrownBet wins race for William Hill’s Australian business
Stars Group acquires majority stake in CrownBet