|In a surprise move, Rank subsidiary, Blue Square, has pulled out of a deal to acquire Britain’s third biggest Betting Exchange, Sporting Options. The deal, which was worth £4 million was expected to go through earlier in the month, and would have been, significantly, the first time a traditional bookmaker had bought out a betting exchange.|
Neither company was willing to discuss the break down in talks, although rumours that Blue Square pulled out because Sporting Options was in bad health have been flatly denied. Blue Square spokesman Ed Pownall, said: “We had a look and it’s not for us. We have had a look at most industry-related things (companies) that come on the market, and this time it’s not for us.”
Sporting Options would see the likely candidate for Blue Square which is looking to transform itself into a ‘one-stop-operation’ offering internet, telephone and on-track and betting shop betting.
Sporting Options was a success story for city traders, Robert Byrne and Kevin Griffiths, who raised a million pounds in the year leading up to its launch. Within eighty days the company had moved into profit and was trading with customers in over thirty countries.