MARKET REPORT:  Paddy Power owner Flutter settles US legal dispute


Paddy Power and Betfair owner Flutter Entertainment flew higher after settling a decade-long legal dispute with the US state of Kentucky.

The FTSE 100 firm has agreed to pay around £147million in addition to a £73million sum it had previously paid to settle the matter.

The wrangle relates to The Stars Group, the Canadian owner of online poker website Poker Stars, which was bought by Flutter for £8.9billion last year.

Paddy Power and Betfair owner Flutter said it had agreed to pay around £147m in addition to a £73m sum it had previously paid to settle its legal problems in the US state of Kentucky

Kentucky launched legal proceedings against what it said were unlicensed wagers made through Poker Stars between 2006 and 2011, saying it was owed £638million.

In 2015, a judge awarded the state £213million, which was later raised to £638million plus interest. However, the decision was reversed in 2018 on appeal before being reversed again by the state’s Supreme Court last December. By this point, the total sum had reached around £953million.

In August Flutter asked the US Supreme Court to adjudicate, saying the sum violated the Constitution, which prohibits ‘excessive fines’. But under the settlement Kentucky has agreed to ‘cease all further actions’, the firm said.

There was also good news from Australia where it has snapped up over 50 per cent market share in the first half of this year. Shares rose 4.1 per cent, or 620p, to 15,890p.

Stock Watch – Ixico

Ixico, a company that provides analysis for brain scan data, received a boost to its share price yesterday after landing a contract worth more than £550,000.

The group said that under the deal it will support a phase two clinical trial for a potential treatment for Alzheimer’s disease.

It added that the agreement was with a ‘top-five’ clinical research organisation.

The trial will be conducted on patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s across 41 sites in the US and Europe.

Ixico’s shares jumped by 8.1 per cent, or 6p, to 80p following the announcement.  

The FTSE 100 was lifted 1.5 per cent, or 102.39 points, to 7083.37 while the FTSE 250 climbed 0.7 per cent, or 173.15 points, to 23,784.54. 

News that embattled Chinese property giant Evergrande had struck a deal over its debt repayments soothed fears over the risk to the global economy.

Halma, which makes safety equipment and fire suppression systems, climbed 1.7 per cent, or 53p, to 3110p after upping its full-year guidance. 

First-half performance was ahead of expectations as the relaxation of lockdown restrictions fired up demand.

Cruise ship firm Carnival said its subsidiary P&O Cruises Australia had scrapped Christmas and New Year sailings, adding that any new cruises will not depart from Sydney or Brisbane until at least mid-January due to the pandemic.

The firm said it was ‘not yet clear on the requirements from governments and public health authorities for a phased return of domestic cruising’, saying it had also cancelled its summer season in Melbourne. The shares, however, rose 2.8 per cent, or 43.4p, to 1595.2p.

Computer software developer Alfa Financial surged 14.3 per cent, or 22.5p, to 180p after half-year revenues were ahead of expectations, rising 8pc to £41.1m in the six months to July. The company also unveiled a £30million special dividend.

Pharma firm Clinigen inked a deal with Las Vegas group Secura Bio to distribute a leukaemia treatment in 39 countries in Europe including the UK, France and Germany. The shares inched up 0.3 per cent, or 2p, to 642p.

Small-cap kettle controls maker Strix Group bubbled up 3 per cent, or 10.5p, to 358.5p after profits jumped by nearly a third to £13.2million in the six months to the end of June. Tech consultancy Kin & Carta rose 1pc, or 3p, to 297p as it said full-year profits will be ‘marginally ahead’ of expectations.

Meanwhile, PZ Cussons, the maker of Imperial Leather soap and Carex handwash, sank 4.6 per cent, or 10.5p, to 220p as it flagged up ‘significant inflationary pressure’ on its cost base, although it said it still expected to meet its profit forecasts for the year.

Revenues for the three months to the end of August fell 9 per cent as demand for its hygiene products tumbled from their pandemic peaks last year.

Make-up firm Warpaint London reported strong sales in the first six months of 2021, helping it deliver a £1.6million profit for the period compared with a £1.5million loss in the previous year.

But the shares dropped 4.4 per cent, or 9.5p, to 207.5p.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk