Sports Internet Group is to purchase football website developer Planetfootball.com for £24 million as the foundation for creating an Internet sports gaming group.
Sports Internet's strategy is to create, through acquisition, a leading Internet sports, betting and gaming group. "The acquisition of Planetfootball is the first stage in the implementation of this strategy," said an executive statement.
Sports Internet's strategy is based on the increasing social and economic influence of sport and the dramatic take-up of the Internet on a global scale.
Planetfootball is one Europe's leading offical branded football website developers whose portfolio includes Aston Villa, Leeds United and Newcastle United. The websites currently attract over 500,000 visitors, viewing 13 million pages a month, according to the company.
Peter Wilkinson, founder of Planetfootball, was also the architect of free ISP Freeserve, currently the UK's largest ISP. Planet Online, Wilkinson's business-oriented ISP, was sold to Energis in August 1998 for £75 million.
The company plans to be taking bets by the beginning of the next football season.
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