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CVC takes spread-betting company private

Deal: Take-private of IG Group
Size: £143 million ($229 million)
Advisor: Lexicon Partners
Date: September 5 2003

It's not often that the state of disrepair of a castle in southeast England triggers an innovative finance deal. But that's what happened this year when high-profile businessman Stuart Wheeler decided to sell his stake in the UK's leading spread-betting business.

In January, Wheeler announced that he wanted to sell his 23.7% stake in IG Group, the company he founded in the 1970s, to raise money to renovate his castle at Chilham in Kent. Chilham is a 17th-century mansion built around an older Norman keep. Inigo Jones is said to have designed the building, with grounds laid out by Capability Brown.

Eurosceptic Wheeler hit the headlines two years ago when he donated £5 million to the Conservative Party. He set up IG Index, where UK residents could bet on the price of gold, in 1974. IG's financial betting business grew to the point where it offered spread betting and contracts for differences (CFDs) on products ranging from market indices to commodities and share prices. Ten years ago it started taking bets on sport. In 1996, it started dealing in foreign exchange.

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