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Last Friday, Toronto headquartered The Stars Group Inc. (formerly known as Amaya) which owns and operates online poker sites PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker announced in an official press release that it has inked a deal valued at a massive $4.7 Billion to acquire British-based gambling company Sky Betting & Gaming (SBG) from its majority owner CVC Capital Partners and Sky plc.
Under the agreement, $3.6 Billion is to be paid in cash and the remaining by means of 37.9 million newly-issued common shares of The Stars Group – valued at $1.1 billion based on the April 20 closing price.
Sky Betting & Gaming’s headquarters is based in Leeds, West Yorkshire and consists of five core brands: Sky Bet, Sky Vegas, Sky Casino, Sky Poker and Sky Bingo. It also owns online betting odds comparison site Oddschecker and operates free-to-enter football prediction games Soccer Saturday Super 6 and Sky Sports Fantasy Football.
The deal is expected to be closed during the third quarter of this year as customary closing conditions and approvals from regulatory authorities including the Toronto Stock Exchange and NASDAQ are required.
After acquiring CrownBet and William Hill Australia, and now SBG, The Stars Group’s revenue will be almost evenly spread out between poker, sportsbook and casino business. Last year, the company earned 37% of revenue derived from poker, 34% from sportsbook, and 26% from casino.
“The acquisition of Sky Betting & Gaming is a landmark moment in The Stars Group’s history,” said The Stars Group CEO Rafi Ashkenazi. “SBG operates one of the world’s fastest growing sportsbooks and is one of the United Kingdom’s leading gaming providers. 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. 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.” he added.
Sky Betting & Gaming CEO Richard Flint expressed his excitement stating, “We are delighted to join forces with The Stars Group. 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.”
With this acquisition, The Stars Group will surely have a bigger footprint in UK, the largest regulated online gaming market of the world.