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Canadian Stars Group Acquires Sky Betting & Gaming for $4.7 Billion

- April 23, 2018 By Oliver Young -

SkyBet to be sold to private equity firmCanadian-based and Toronto-listed The Stars Group Inc announced in a surprising Saturday release that the company agreed to acquire Sky Betting & Gaming for $4.7 billion. Namely, the company has come to agreement with Sky Plc as well as its parent company CVC Capital Partners to overtake the UK based and licensed SBG and its online gambling operations. According to reports, the Stars Group will provide $3.6 billion in cash as well as around $1.1 billion in newly issued shares.

It has been revealed that the companies have been discussing the possible acquisition quietly and for several weeks before making the announcement. On behalf on the Stars Group commented the company’s chief executive officer Rafi Ashkenazi. He called the acquisition of SBG “a landmark moment” in the company’s history as well as highlighted the SBG as a leading UK gaming provider.

Ashkenazi went further on explaining that SBG and its sports betting platform would be the “ideal complement” to their poker platform. Moreover, he highlighted, that the ability to provide “two low-cost acquisition channels” of the magnitude would provide his gaming group with “great growth potential.” The CEO concluded that once the transaction is finished, the Stars Group would boast with improved scale as well as an excellent global brand portfolio. He finished by expressing hopes of becoming a top global iGaming destination.

Union to Close in Q3 of 2018

If regulators in the both companies’ jurisdictions give green light to the acquisition deal, the union between TSG and SBG should be finalized in Q3 of 2018. Once the deal is over, the Stars Group revealed expectations to realize $70 million in annual cost “synergies” as well as to become the world’s largest publicly listed iGaming company.

Richard Flint, CEO of SBG, commented on the deal saying that he was “delighted to join forces” with the Canadian operator. Nonetheless, he didn’t fail to thank CVC and Sky for their help in growing the SBG to its present position. Namely, CVC has acquired Sky Bet back in 2014 and as of January the company owns 71% of SBG. It is interesting to note that, according to reports, SBG was valued between £2.5 billion and £3 billion, figures lower than the £3.35 billion TGS has accepted to pay for the firm.

Numerous Benefits for the Stars Group

In the press release provided by the Stars Group, a long list of financial as well as operational benefits was provided. For example, the merger is expected to provide greater revenue diversification on top on improved sports betting exposure. After all, the largest revenue share of SBG comes from sports betting.

Another important pro is the increased presence in regulated markets or, more precisely, in the UK. The country is widely recognized as the largest regulated iGaming market in the world. Furthermore, SBG’s creative sportsbook and casino offering are expected to provide for improved technology and products in TSG’s portfolio.

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