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Branson pulls out of lottery deal

Last Updated: Wednesday 24th February 2010, 00:16 am

National Lottery In a move sure to get other bidders worrying, Richard Branson has pulled out of the planned deal to buy shares in Camelot, the UK Lotto firm. The tycoon was part of a consortium and has now withdrawn from the auction of Camelot after it declined to underwrite costs associated with the bid.

Sir Richard Branson was bidding to acquire Camelot independently, not part of the Virgin empire, alongside the Dutch Postcode Lottery, however now him, and the rest of the consortium have effectively pulled out of the UK Lotto sale.

It’s not just Branson either, it seems the bidders for Camelot are dropping like flies. Providence have walked away from the Camelot deal and there is now a big question mark over whether the Las Francaise des Jeux will place another offer.

Who knows what will happen now, the outcome is as difficult to predict as the lottery results but the remaining bidders did have until close of business yesterday to close the deal. No movement or contact from the Branson consortium means that they are now pulling out of the deal.

The Ontario Teachers pension fund were expected to make a new bid yesterday but as yet no one knows exactly what the state of the deal is.

Camelot is likely to fetch in the region of £350 million as a whole company but as it’s being sold as shares, each shareholder is likely to only have a 20% stake each. Royal Mail and Cadbury are just two of the companies selling shares and judging by the news stories recently it’s little wonder they have made that decision.

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