Feeds

Soccer Web boss kicks fortune into the Net

Sports Internet buys Planetfootball for £24m

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Planet Online founder Peter Wilkinson has hit paydirt for the second time by selling Planetfootball for £24 million. The buyer Sports Internet Limited is cock-a-hoop, pointing out that it is paying only £50 per Planetfootball punter, compared with the £1,000-plus per customer that Dixon's FreeServe is worth -- supposedly. This bargain is strictly relative, making financial sense only in Internet terms. Planetfootball had sales of only £99,000 and made an operating loss of £453,000 for the year to March end. According to Wilkinson, Planetfootball.com is now ready for the revenue generating stage, and it is nicely positioned as a player in the world's most popular and lucrative sport, so maybe we should reserve judgement. But right now the company looks awfully expensive. Planetfootball designs and hosts web sites for 20 football clubs, including more than half the UK Premier League teams. Collectively, the web sites generate 13 million page impressions from 500,000 visitors per month. To put this in perspective, this is smaller than -- say -- Tom's Hardware Guide manages all by itself. More importantly, Tom's Hardware Guide is master of its own destiny, while Planetfootball's customers could always peel away to other web designers. Sports Internet Ltd is an energetic Internet sports, betting and gaming group run by Chris Akers, the former Leeds Sporting CEO. The AIM-listed company is making full use of corporate finance techniques to grow quickly. This time around, it is issuing 15 million new shares at 160p per share to pay for the deal. The company is also raising £4.7 million cash through a rights issue, taking its money pile up to £5.5 million. So Wilkinson's new fortune is paper-based. Post completion, he will join Sports Internet as executive deputy chairman, a made-up job title if ever there was one. We wonder, if hs he parting with some cash as part of the deal -- he could certainly afford to. Wilkinson kept onto Planetfootball, when he sold ISP Planet Online last year to Energis for £75 million in hard cash. His stake in that company was worth £22 million - his backer, the rabid anti-European entrepreneur Paul Sykes picked up the lion's share that time. The inference we draw from the release accompanying the sale of Planetfootball is that Wilkinson owns -- or owned -- all of this company. Apparently he was also the "architect of Freeserve", launched by Dixons with Energis in September 1998. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.