Sportal sold to UKbetting for £1

LONDON - Sportal has been bought by subsidiary SportingLife Bets for £1.

The sale comes after the sports website's future was plunged into doubt last week when it emerged the company had run out of money as a result of the declining advertising market.

The £1 price includes the and brands and the Sportal trademark, but not the operational assets of Sportal International. The company paid an additional £190,000 in fees and for Sportal's technology.

UKbetting says the acquisition, coupled with its recent and buys and its offer to buy rewards-based credit card Sportscard, will strengthen its core online gambling operations UKbetting and Totalbet by growing the number of visitors coming to the sites.

Peter Dubens, a UKbetting director, said, "We believe that the Sportal brands will allow UKbetting to increase its customer base without incurring significant costs. Following the successful completion of the offer for Sportscard, UKbetting will have more than 60,000 wagering customers, approximately 20,000 credit card customers and more than 300,000 registered sports content users."

Sportal management entered into talks last week with shareholders when £5m of financing that the company secured in August looked likely to run out before the company was due to break even next year.

The company ran into trouble earlier in the year, but was rescued by a funding package from investors including French businessman Bernard Arnault, chairman of luxury goods giant LVMH, a former backer of the collapsed dotcom Boo.