Perform Group has acquired Opta for £40 million through a transaction which sees the sports data and analysis company move from venture capital backing to private trade ownership.
Established in 1996, London-based Opta collects and analyses statistical data for sports including football and tennis. Its data allows users in broadcasting to provide more informed online and print reporting and in-depth analysis
Opta currently has partnerships with BBC Sport, BT Sport, Sky Sports and Premier League football and rugby clubs such as Arsenal, Chelsea, Leeds Rhinos and the Newcastle Falcons.
Albion Ventures, an investment firm which has exited through the deal, first became involved with Opta back in February 2008 through a £1.5 million deal – when operating as Close Ventures. Albion Ventures was created in January 2009 when it bought the business of Close Ventures from Close Brothers Group. In total the funds have invested £2.1 million into Opta over three rounds of funding.
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Patrick Reeve, managing partner at Albion Ventures, comments, ‘We have enjoyed partnering the company’s highly impressive management team through a period of rapid growth during which they have created a leading brand with the dominant position in their global market.
‘This investment has generated an excellent return for our funds and underlines our strategy of backing strong management teams in high growth sectors.’
The sale of Opta for £40 million includes a management incentive of £7 million and will reportedly create one of the ‘most powerful’ international digital sports platforms and speed up Opta’s growth in the global sports data market when added to the portfolio of Perform.
Philip Barker, partner at Cavendish Corporate Finance, a firm which advised Opta on the deal, adds, ‘The sports data sector is one of the hottest areas in M&A at the moment, reflected in the global level of interest we received for Opta and the proposed price.’