You could soon own a piece of leading online sports betting firm, SportPesa, after it emerged it plans to list on the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) in the first quarter of next year.
Quoting two people familiar with the matter, Bloomberg reports that the Isle of Man-registered SportPesa has appointed Nairobi-based Kestrel Capital East Africa Ltd. as transaction advisers for the IPO. Kestrel Executive Director Andre DeSimone declined to comment when contacted by phone by Bloomberg on Wednesday.
The firm, with Ksh 100 billion ($1 billion) of annual revenue, may rank among the 10 biggest companies on the exchange if the IPO goes ahead, said one of the people. Both asked not to be identified because the information is private. The listing would be the first in Nairobi since August 2016, when clothing retailer Deacons East Africa Plc began trading.
SportPesa declined to comment on the listing plans. The company had said in 2016 it’s mulling a listing in two years.
“SportPesa is a privately owned company and is constantly exploring opportunities that will create value for our stakeholders,” the company said in an emailed response to questions on Wednesday. “As and when appropriate, we will communicate with each of our stakeholders.”
SportPesa, in Kenya, is owned and operated by Pevans East Africa, a company with shareholders from mostly Kenya, Bulgaria, and the United States. In Italy, it is jointly owned with RCS Media, which is the largest media company in Italy.
It has emerged as one of the most successful companies in the sports betting segment and also has operations in the UK, where it is the official sponsor of Premier League clubs Hull City and Everton. The gaming company is also Arsenal’s Africa betting partner.
In Kenya, it sponsors, Kenyan Premier League as well as Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards and is a key sponsor of national soccer team, the Harambee Stars. In addition, it sponsors Nakuru All Stars, a second division team.
Elsewhere, it sponsors Tanzanian clubs, Simba and Young Africans, and South Africa’s Cape Town FC.