Ladbrokes’ former CEO Chris Bell has announced plans to bring XL Media, an Israeli gaming marketing company to the London stock exchange in a bid to raise between 18m and 24m pounds ($30m and $40m). Mr Bell left the bookmaker in 2010 after over 20 years with them and is now chairman of XL Media.
The Israeli company has appointed Cenkos Securities to manage their flotation with some fundraising already in its first steps. They were founded by the technology entrepreneur Ory Weihs, who back in 2003 set up an affiliate network, which later grew into XL Media after several mergers. Weihs remains CEO and together with his cofounders owns 24.1% of the business before the public listing.
The company, whose main rival is Playtech, provides traffic to more than 150 gambling sites (among which are William Hill, Ladbrokes and 888.com) and is specialized in attracting and directing high-paying customers to its clients. They manage a network of over 200 sites which have versions in 17 languages allowing them to cover a wide range of players and subsequently guide them to the sites of customers. They also have income from media buying, SEO and managing affiliate networks for branded gaming sites.
From the latest available audited financial results, in the year ending in December 2012, they had adjusted profits (pre-tax and interest) of 8.1m pounds ($13.47m) from sales of 15.6m pounds ($26.1m).
The company was established in 2008 and is based in Tel Aviv and has had its main focus on the UK and the Scandinavian countries. Now with the potential boost in cash, they have set their sights on more ambitious targets for expansion further into Europe and the US, mainly through acquisitions.