The Stars Group buys Sky Betting & Gaming for $4.7bn

By Robert Simmons

Worldwide online gaming business, The Stars Group, has announced what could be one of 2018s biggest corporate acquisitions, agreeing a $4.7bn cash and stock deal to purchase Sky Betting & Gaming (SBG) from CVC Capital Partners and Sky plc.

If approved, the transaction will create the world’s largest publicly listed online gaming company.

Speaking about the acquisition, Rafi Ashkenazi, the Stars Group CEO said: “The acquisition of Sky Betting & Gaming is a landmark moment in The Stars Group’s history.

“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 multi-billion dollar deal gives Stars Group a larger presence in the UK and a ready-made sports betting business that it could easily expand into the US, should legislatory conditions become more favourable. It also gives Stars Group access to a business with a significant mobile gaming arm.

Ashkenazi added: “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 favourite iGaming destination.”

2018 has been a busy one for The Stars Group which concluded a $117.7m deal to acquire a majority stake in Australian sports betting operator CrownBet in February.

Stars Group has confirmed that the deal is expected to create cost synergies of $70m per year.

Releasing an accompanying statement following the deal, Richard Flint, Sky Betting & Gaming’s Chief Executive Officer said: “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.”


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