Stars Group complete purchase of Sky Betting & Gaming
The Stars Group has announced that it has finalised the deal to acquire Sky Betting & Gaming (SBG).
Stars Group are a Canadian gambling group and run one of the world’s largest online poker sites, Poker Stars.
The deal to acquire SBG has long been underway. Back in April, the group announced its intention to purchase SBG for around £2.5bn. The final price is thought to be around $4.7bn.
However, the Stars Group had to raise capital to complete the acquisition. Via a public share offering, the group were able to raise $622m in capital to allow it to complete the acquisition.
The purchase comprised of a combination of cash and 37.9m of these newly-issued shares in the group. Cash on the balance sheet, proceeds from the equity offering and newly issued debt financed the cash aspect of the deal.
The deal has created the largest publicly listed online gaming company in the world.
The group issued a press release announcing the deal and the benefits that acquiring SBG will bring, including:
- Diversify and balance revenues across poker, casino and the sportsbook
- Bring the group’s presence in regulated markets to around 75% of total revenues
- Utilise sports betting as a user acquisition channel
- Improve the group’s product and technology offering via SBG’s mobile apps, sportsbook and casino offerings
Speaking about the deal, Rafi Ashkenayi, chief executive officer at the Stars Group, said:
This acquisition represents a pivotal moment in The Stars Group’s evolution… SBG’s mobile-focused sportsbook pairs well with our industry-leading poker offering to create two premier customer acquisition channels. We believe this combination along with our combined online casino offerings positions The Stars Group for continued growth in the evolving online gaming industry.– Rafi Ashkenayi, Stars Group Chief executive officer
The completion of the deal marks the end of a long process for the Stars Group. Prior to this purchase, the group had looked at 888 and William Hill as potential acquisitions, before settling on Sky Betting & Gaming.