Enic and Victor Chandler Reach Agreement

2 September 1999
Enic, a UK-based entertainment company with holdings in several European football clubs, has officially announced its acquisition of Gibraltar-based Victor Chandler International. The company is now targeting online gambling as its key growth business.

Enic has acquired a 25.1 percent share in the British bookmaking venture for pounds 5m in cash. It also has an option to buy 100 percent of the issued share capital of Newcote, Chandlers's parent company, by the end of the year.

The Newcote deal is expected to value the Chandler group at around pounds 70m and will be structured as a paper transaction. Victor Chandler and his partner Michael Tabor will take undisclosed stakes in Enic and join the company's board.

Should Enic opt not to purchase Newcote, both parties would have the right to pull out of the deal for the online business.

Enic Managing Director Daniel Levy called the deal "a strategic move by Enic into the fast growing international market for online and interactive sports-related services."

Levy also indicated that his company had several other deals in the works, although he wouldn't own up to a rumor that his group is poised to buy a stake in Manchester United football club. The company announced Friday that it signed a deal giving it full control of Vicenza, the Italian football club.

Victor Chandler moved its operations from Great Britain to tax-friendly Gibraltar in May 1999. The company is expected to debut its online betting service in November.