FORMER Sage CEO Paul Walker is to help guide the team behind digital sports rights company Perform Group through a flotation which could value it as high as £500m.
Walker has taken the role of non- executive chairman of the London business, which has the rights to stream sporting events ranging from Italy’s Serie A and America’s MLS to France’s Ligue 1, as well as the NBA, NHL and the ATP World Tour.
It wishes to float at least a quarter of the company, and expects to raise about £70m from the primary proceeds of floating on the London Stock Exchange.
Walker said: “This is an opportunity to get involved with a fast-growing company that’s highly entrepreneurial, which really takes me back to my roots at Sage.
“It’s got a really talented entrepreneurial team. I’m going to take the role of chairing the board and helping them to become a public company, and I’ll be able to offer counsel and advice with the rest of the board.”
Walker left Newcastle-based software giant Sage after 16 years heading the FTSE-100’s only tech company, and is a non-executive director at both Experian and Diageo.
Perform hopes to develop its products globally, and capture the growing smartphone and tablet market, as well as complete strategic acquisitions.
It currently runs several Premier League websites such as Chelsea’s official site, and is the owner of Goal.com.