Former Football Pools owner rejects Wall Street swoop

Standard General is best known in the US for rescuing electronics retailer RadioShack

The former owner of the Football Pools has rejected a takeover swoop from a Wall Street hedge fund. 

Sportech, which owned the pools for almost two decades before selling the business in 2017, said cash offers from Standard General undervalued the business.

Standard General, best known in the US for owning electronics retailer RadioShack, made two approaches at 25p and 28.5p a share, the latter valuing the UK business at around £50m.

While considerably smaller than other gambling deals such as Caesars’ £2.9bn bid for William Hill, the interest in Sportech is the latest M&A activity as investors look to grab a piece of the burgeoning US sports gambling market.

Since selling the pools, Sportech has focussed on providing the technology behind betting platforms. It also has direct-to-consumer operations with licences in the US, runs raffles at baseball games and is a licensed provider of lottery games in the UK.

It sold the pools to private equity fund OpCapita, the former owner of Comet and kitchen retailer MFI, for £83m after a £100m deal fell through. 

Shares in Sportech jumped around a third in morning trade to 26.6p.