Bet365 companies gave founder’s charity £75m last year

14 Jan 2019 News

A foundation set up by the founder of the gambling firm Bet365 received £75m in donations from three companies that are part of the Bet365 group last year, according to accounts filed with Companies House. 

Total funds for the Denise Coates Foundation now stand at nearly £254m, according to accounts for the year ending March 2018. £243.2m is held as an endowment, most of which is managed by the wealth management company Stonehage Fleming.

The wealthiest charity in the UK is the Wellcome Trust, which has assets of more than £20bn. But the Denise Coates Foundation is expected to now be among the top 100 when charities are ranked by total assets. 

Last year the Foundation's investment portfolio returned an investment gain of £2.5m, or 1.3 per cent. The accounts acknowledge that this fell well short of the UK inflation rate of 3.3 per cent, though they state that over the same period the FTSE 100 fell by 5.1 per cent.

Three large donations

Three companies that are part of the Bet365 Group, of which Coates is joint chief executive, gave large donations to the foundation in the year to 25 March 2018.

Hillside (Technology) Limited donated £45m, Hillside (Media Services) Limited donated £25m and Hillside (Shared Services) Limited donated £5m.

The Bet365 Group's revenue for the period was £2.9bn while its operating profit was £660m. Coates was paid a record £265m last year, which makes her the UK's highest paid company chief executive. She has an estimated net worth of £2.8bn.

Grant giving

During the year, the foundation allocated grants worth £9.8m across a wide range of areas including education, arts and medical research.
The largest grant was to Newcastle-under-Lyme School, which received just over £3m towards the design and construction of a new sports facility.
Other grantees included Keele University, Tate and Douglas Macmillan Hospice. 

The foundation has six trustees, including Denise Coates, her father Peter and her brother John. The foundation has no members of staff and is based at Bet365’s head office. 

It was set up 2012 as the Bet365 Foundation and changed its name in 2016. It does not have a website or email address, and a directory listing on Volunteer Centre West Berkshire’s website advises people to write to the foundation for more details on applying for funding.

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