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Volume 10 No. 25


Investors are "buying structured products that profit on gains" in shares of ManU following the EPL club’s IPO, according to Alastair Marsh of the FINANCIAL TIMES. Royal Bank of Scotland issued eight "mini futures" since the club’s U.S. stock issue on Aug. 9. The securities were priced in Swedish krona, euros and Swiss francs and offer investors "leveraged exposure to the stock," which has fallen 3.1% from its $14 IPO price. RBS' London-based Head of Public Distribution Christian Bahrne said investors were drawn to the club’s “proven track record on the pitch and the potential to profit from increasing media revenue.” The mini futures, the first structured products tied to the 134-year-old club, were "bought by individual investors in Scandinavia." The mini futures include two parts, a "cash investment from an investor and a loan from the issuing bank." To leverage the product, an investor will pay 500 krona ($75) and borrow 500 krona, receiving 20% for every 10% gain in the stock and losing 20% for every 10% fall (BLOOMBERG, 8/30).

JJB Sports has put itself up for sale and warned its shares may be worthless after "the struggling retailer failed to secure a fresh funding injection from investors," according to Jennifer Thompson of the FINANCIAL TIMES. JJB shares immediately fell 71% to $0.67 per share. The news "raises questions over the long-term future of the sports clothing and equipment chain," which operates from more than 180 outlets and employs more than 4,000 people in the U.K. and Ireland. JJB has spoken with shareholders and suppliers over the past month to "secure funding for a restructuring and turnaround." The company has already received new financing from its four largest shareholders -- Invesco, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Crystal Amber and Harris Associates -- in April as it "battled falling sales" (FINANCIAL TIMES, 8/30).

Sports media company Perform Group posted a first-half pre-tax profit, after Euro 2012 "helped buoy licence fees and advertising sales," according to Mark Wembridge of the FINANCIAL TIMES. Perform, which buys the online rights to TV sports coverage and repackages it for bookmakers, news providers and consumers, has seen shares more than double over the past year, as more users "turned to watching sport on websites and mobile devices." The group operates web services, such as, and is mainly focused on football, tennis and basketball (FINANCIAL TIMES, 8/30).

PLACE YOUR BETS: A strong performance from its online businesses helped online bookmaker Paddy Power to "healthy first-half profits." The Irish bookmaker has seen strong revenue growth across all its divisions so far this year due to "a rise in online betting and favourable sports results" in the first months of the year (FINANCIAL TIMES, 8/29).