Macfarlanes advises Opcapita on purchase of the Football Pools from Sportech

15 March 2017

Macfarlanes has advised European private equity advisory firm OpCapita on the purchase of The Football Pools business from pool and tote betting company Sportech PLC for a total cash consideration of £83m.

Sportech originally purchased Littlewoods Pools in 2000, later acquiring the Vernons and Zetters pools businesses to form what constitutes The Football Pools today.

OpCapita, which was founded in 2006, looks for investment opportunities in the retail, consumer and leisure industries with the potential for delivering improvements in profitability and creating long-term, sustainable value. OpCapita has invested over €450m since inception, and its second dedicated fund, OpCapita Consumer Opportunities Fund II LP, closed on €350m in August 2016 and was significantly oversubscribed.

The Football Pools business will be held by FP Acquisitions Ltd, a company controlled by funds advised by OpCapita. The sale is conditional on the approval of Sportech’s shareholders and FP Acquisitions Ltd having obtained the necessary licences from the Gambling Commission.

The advisory team for Macfarlanes was led by corporate and M&A partner Stephen Drewitt with assistance from nearly 20 partners and solicitors across the firm including corporate and M&A solicitors Ankit Chhabra, Adam Campbell, Winston Reynolds and Tom Trotter, alongside commercial solicitor Alex Chapman. Further specialist expertise came from Peter Abbott (Tax partner), Malcolm Walton (Competition partner), Camilla Barry (Pensions partner), Jatinder Bains (Banking & Finance partner), Gideon Sanitt (Litigation partner) and Tom Pedder (Commercial real estate partner).