Legal & Regulatory News

Shares in Sportech jumped more than 20 per cent in London Wednesday after it secured a significant victory in its fight to reclaim £97m that the operator claims to be owed by UK tax authority Her Majesty’s Customs and Revenue (HMRC).

Following a hearing at the UK Court of Appeal on April 11th, the appeal judges have ruled unanimously in Sportech’s favour over its claim for the sum, which the company believes it is owed having overpaid VAT on its Spot the Ball game between 1979 and 1996.

The long-running case dates back to 2009, when Sportech filed its original claim for a £40m refund. The sum has since risen to £97m due to interest accrued on the money owed

Sportech had appeared to prevail when it was awarded £93m by the UK’s First Tier Tax Tribunal in March 2013, only for the HMRC to have this overturned by the Upper Tribunal of the Tax and Chancery Chamber.

The operator then won the right to appeal the verdict, leading to today’s ruling.

However the case may drag on, as HMRC has been given until May 13th to apply to the Court of Appeal for permission take the case to the Supreme Court.

Shares in Sportech plc (Co.Data) (LSE:SPO) hit a new 52-week high of 78.22 pence per share in London earlier Wednesday, before dropping back to its current price of 77.00 pence, up 22.22 per cent in trading.