Beckham's Guild Esports raises £20 million ahead of Friday debut in London


FILE PHOTO: Former soccer player and MLS team owner David Beckham speaks during an interview in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., February 26, 2020. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri/File Photo

(Reuters) - David Beckham's Guild Esports has raised 20 million pounds ($25.73 million) and plans to make its debut on the London Stock Exchange on Friday, making the former England soccer captain's esports enterprise the first to go public in Britain.

The company said on Tuesday its oversubscribed offering of 250 million shares was priced at 8 pence per ordinary share.

Guild, which claims that some esport tournaments were attracting a bigger audience than the Wimbledon tennis championship, cycling's Tour de France and golf's U.S. Open, is banking on Beckham's global influence and following to support its business.

The former soccer star will hold a 4.78% stake in the company following the initial public offering, making him the fourth-largest shareholder, according to a prospectus that has been approved by the UK Listing Authority.

Other investors in Guild include Toro Consulting Ltd, the Blue Star Capital Plc, and Schroder Investment Management Ltd.

The esports enterprise, which posted a net loss of 1.2 million pounds in the 10 months ended June 30, plans to use the proceeds from the share placing to recruit new players and invest in its brand.

Zeus Capital Limited and Mirabaud Securities Limited are the joint brokers on the offering.

(Reporting by Yadarisa Shabong in Bengaluru, additional reporting by Indranil Sarkar; Editing by Aditya Soni)

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