Posted on April 23, 2018 by staff

Deal agreed for $4.7bn Sky Bet takeover


Sky plc and private equity firm CVC Capital Partners have struck a major deal to sell Sky Betting & Gaming.

Nasdaq-listed The Stars Group has agreed to acquire SBG in a cash and stock transaction worth $4.7bn. The combination will result in the world’s largest publicly listed online gaming company.

In partnership with Sky, Leeds-headquartered SBG has developed some of online gaming’s most-well known brands, including Sky Bet, Sky Vegas and Sky Casino.

In the company’s latest financial year, it generated revenue of £624m.

“We are delighted to join forces with The Stars Group,” said Richard Flint, chief executive at Sky Betting & Gaming. “We have had a fantastic last few years and would like to thank CVC and Sky for supporting us in becoming a leading online operator in the UK.

“This transaction allows us to offer our best-in-class products to a truly global audience. We’re excited about our future together.”

Rafi Ashkenazi, CEO of The Stars Group, described the acquisition as a “landmark moment” in the company’s history.

“SBG operates one of the world’s fastest growing sportsbooks and is one of the United Kingdom’s leading gaming providers,” he said.

“SBG’s premier sports betting product is the ideal complement to our industry-leading poker platform. The ability to offer two low-cost acquisition channels of this magnitude provides The Stars Group with great growth potential and will significantly increase our ability to create winning moments for our customers.”

Ashkenazi concluded: “Following this transaction, The Stars Group will have significantly enhanced scale and a highly-regarded global brand portfolio. As a result, we are well positioned to realize our vision of becoming the world’s favorite iGaming destination.”

Under terms of the acquisition agreement, the transaction has an enterprise value of approximately $4.7bn, of which $3.6bn is payable in cash and the remainder is payable in approximately 37.9 million newly-issued common shares.

Pev Hooper, partner at CVC, said: “Richard and his team have done a fantastic job building Sky Betting & Gaming into one of the UK’s largest and fastest growing operators. We have thoroughly enjoyed working closely with the team and our partners at Sky.

“This combination with The Stars Group opens a new and exciting chapter for SBG to accelerate its international growth, and we look forward to continuing the journey as a shareholder in the combined group.”

Jeremy Darroch, group CEO, Sky, added: “This agreement is an important milestone in SBG’s growth story and a testament to what we and the whole SBG team have achieved. We look forward to the next chapter and continuing our long-term partnership with SBG as part of The Stars Group.”