Online Sportscaster Perform Plans IPO With £500 Million Valuation

Perform Group, an online sports broadcaster that is amongst the most effective but least known in the field, is planning to float on London’s main stock exchange to fund ongoing growth and acquisitions.

The group is planning a primary tranche in which it will raise an expected £70 ($113.5) million in new shares, plus a secondary tranche in which existing shareholders will sell down some of their stake. in combination, the group is selling 25 percent of itself, with total expected company valuation of about £500 ($810.71) million, paidContent:UK understands.

Perform is currently owned by industrialist Len Blavatnik’s Access Industries (58 percent) and by management and employees (40 percent). Post-IPO, management and Access Industries will remain aboard, with reduced but “significant” shareholdings.

Perform was formed from the 2007 merger of Premium TV, which held online broadcast contracts with sporting bodies and clubs including England’s Football League clubs and Cricket Australia, with Inform Group, a distributor. Today, it’s one of the most promising online broadcasters you’ve never heard of, holding a large range of online sports rights and contracts with many bodies and teams, like and Chelsea TV Online.

Until now, Perform’s main-line model has been servicing clubs and media partners, with its main products including the ePlayer video highlights box and Omnisport sports video bulletin. But it recently launched the subscription direct at consumers and intends to build a consumer-facing business. Rights include Italian Serie A, Eredivisie, French Ligue 1 and MLS – ATP World Tour, WTA Tour, NBA, FIBA, MLB, NHL and PSA squash.

It recently bought soccer site, whose management will lead Perform’s consumer division, and previously acquired Sportal. With burgeoning IPTV options on the horizon, Perform sees opportunity in “connectable home devices” and may well get to be an upstart sports TV company which emerged from the web alone.

From Perform’s floatation announcement

— EBITDA profit grew from £2.2 ($3.57) million in 2008 to £10.9 ($17.67) million in 2009, on revenue that rose from £28.3 ($45.89) million to £67.4 ($109.28) million.

— In 2010, Perform streamed 25,000+ sporting events, 1.1 billion streams, managed 100+ websites for third parties and, in January, reached 95 million uniques

— The group says its “long-term contracts provide exceptional revenue visibility” … “68 percent of current rights secured until 2013”.