Rumours of Jan 2006 IPO sees Betfair CFO depart

Owen O’Donnell, chief financial officer of Betfair is to leave on 31 August
the company has announced – further evidence that the gambling business is
looking to strengthen its management team before a possible IPO in the first
quarter of 2006.

The gambling company recently appointed Morgan Stanley and Goldmann Sachs to
advise it on a possible floatation at the beginning of next year, with O’Donnell
rumoured to be making way for a more high-profile finance director.

Betfair’s January 2006 IPO would come hot on the heels of rival PartyGaming’s
27 June flotation.

Despite speculation that O’Donnell has left to be replaced by an FD with more
IPO experience, Stephen Hill, chief executive of Betfair, said O’Donnell had
made ‘a significant contribution to Betfair’s development during the past two

‘In particular we owe our strong controls environment and efficient financial
reporting system to his tenure. We are grateful to him and wish him well in his
future career,’ Hill added.

In a statement O’Donnell said: ‘I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Betfair
and am proud about the contribution I have made to it becoming a leading
internet business today.’

The company said it would announce O’Donnell’s successor as it ‘entered its
next stage of development’.

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