National lottery operator Camelot sold to Canadian pension fund

Camelot, the national lottery operator, is to be sold to a Canadian pension fund for £389m.

The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, which is Canada’s largest pension plan, and private equity group CVC had been the remaining bidders for the company.  

Camelot has been operating the lottery since it began in 1994 and is currently owned by five shareholders; Royal Mail, Cadbury, Thales, De La Rue and Fujitsu. They had all put their stakes up for sale.

Initially, several companies and partnerships were interested in taking over the company, including one involving Sir Richard Branson.

The sale is subject to clearance by lottery watchdog the National Lottery Commission (NLC), which is to assess whether the sale is in the national interest.

NLC granted Camelot its third national lottery licence last year.

Camelot recently announced that its sales increased by 3.6% in 2008/09. Sales totalled £5.1bn in the year to 31 March 2009, up from £4.9bn a year earlier.

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