Canadian group agrees £3.4bn Sky Bet deal

Marco Green
April 23, 2018

The Stars Group Inc has moved to restructure its corporate debt facilities, alongside its future operational structure to accommodate its agreed $4.7 billion (€3.9 billion) acquisition of Sky Betting & Gaming (SB&G). Parent company SBG states that 80% if its revenue is generated via mobile-device play. The company expects to achieve $70-million in cost synergies.

Acquiring SBG, one of the world's fastest growing sportsbooks and one of Britain's leading gaming providers, should help Stars Group diversify its portfolio of products and expand out of the poker business which it now dominates.

Rafi Ashkenazi, the chief executive of Stars, said the "landmark" acquisition would complement the PokerStars online card room.

Sky's majority stake in SkyBet was sold to CVC Capital Partners (CVC) in 2015, which recently hired investment banks to lead a possible IPO (initial public offering), which now looks unlikely to happen. "The ability to offer two low-priced acquisition channels of this magnitude provides The Stars Group with great growth potential".

Australian-based betting company CrownBet bought out rival operator William Hill Australia back in March this year after The Stars Group purchased Crown's 62 percent share of the CrownBet business.

"We are delighted to join forces with The Stars Group", said Richard Flint, Sky Betting and Gaming's CEO.

The Stars Group's board has unanimously approved the transaction, with the company expecting to complete the acquisition during the third quarter of this year, subject to obtaining customary approvals from the Toronto Stock Exchange, Nasdaq, and other regulatory authorities.

Ashkenazi added, "Following this transaction, The Stars Group will have significantly enhanced scale and a highly-regarded global brand portfolio".

Ashkenazi signaled previous year that he'd be on the hunt for targets as part of an effort to reduce Stars's reliance on the online-poker business.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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