Who is the owner of Betfred?

The parent company of gambling operator Betfred is Lightcatch Limited, company number 02578161, registered at The Spectrum, 56-58 Benson Road Birchwood, Warrington, Cheshire, WA3 7PQ. It is a private limited company incorporated on 30 January 1991.

Fred and Peter Done

Fred Done was CEO until this spring, when he named Joanne Whittaker, a former executive with the company, to take over as chief executive. Done will remain the company’s chairman.

Whittaker and Done seem to go way back. She founded childcare voucher provider Fidelity in 2005, which Done helped finance in exchange for a 25 percent share. Fidelity became wildly successful with a turnover of over £83 million in 2019. Its pre-tax profits were £1.7 million that year.

Done has backed another two companies  Whittaker set up. He has asked her examine a number of further businesses he is involved in. She became CEO of Betfred on April 6.

Fred and his brother Peter were not born with silver spoons in their mouths. They grew up in what Peter calls the “slums of Salford”, where four siblings slept in one room.

After working for their father’s illegal bookmaking business, they left school without any qualifications when they were 15. In 1966, they won a bet that England would become the world champion. With the money, they opened their first bookmaker a year later.

It has not been easy building the bookmaking empire Betfred has become. Fred Done was once stabbed by an angry loser in a horserace – five times.

Peter and Fred also control Peninsula Business Services, a highly lucrative enterprise group with more than 10 companies. Their services run the gamut of HR and workplace health to employment law.

How rich are they?

According to the Sunday Times, their combined investments are worth over £1.25 billion, which is 100 million less than in 2020. That’s because Betfred has been in poor financial health of late. The enterprise ended 2019 and 2020 at a loss. After the government restricted fixed-odds betting stations, they closed a number of venues as revenue plummeted.

However, their other companies are doing well. Peter and Fred Done paid themselves a £46 million dividend in 2020.

Are they philanthropists too?

With age, they’ve gone to the right, but they were leftists initially. They made the humble donation of £10,000 to former Labour Party MP Hazel Blears in 2007, the representative of Salford, where they are originally from.

Through Rainy city Investments, a holding company, Fred and Peter have donated £375,000 to the Conservative party since 2016.

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