Flutter Entertainment and The Stars Group Set For Merger
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Flutter Entertainment, formerly Paddy Power Betfair, and The Stars Group, formerly Amaya and formerly PokerStars, have agreed to a merger that will form a gargantuan online gambling company valued at more than £10 billion.
The recommended all-share combination sees 0.2253 Flutter Entertainment (Flutter) shares for every one share in The Stars Group (TSG), with Flutter’s shareholders owning approximately 54.64 percent of the new company and The Stars Group 45.36 percent.
Once completed, current Flutter Chief Executive Peter Jackson will be at the helm, with reigning TSG chief executive Rafi Ashkenazi assuming the role of Chief Operating Officer. Flutter’s Chief Financial Officer, Jonathan Hill, will continue in the same position, with Flutter’s Gary McGann and TSG’s Duvyesh Gadhia becoming the new company’s Chairman and Deputy Chairman respectively.
The proposed deal will be subject to a shareholder vote in the second quarter of 2020 with the transaction expected to be completed during the third quarter of 2020. If the merger is approved by both companies’ shareholders and compliant with all necessary regulatory approvals, the combination will create a new global leader in sports betting and gaming.
Massive Brands Come Together
The new company will continue to trade under the Flutter name, but it will be nothing short of massive and by far the largest online sports betting and gaming company in the world. One-time cash costs of £180 million are expected in the two years after completion, but pre-tax cost savings of £140 million per year will be in play by the end of the third year.
Combining customers from Flutter and TSG gives the combined group a customer base of 13 million, including duplicate accounts, and annual revenue of £3.777 billion. Its EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Tax, Depreciation, and Amortization), a key indicator for a company’s operating performance, comes in at £1.14 billion, according to the presentation in the investors call.
Six of Flutter and TSG’s Biggest Brands
|Flutter Brands||TSG Brands|
|Paddy Power||Sky Bet|
|TVG||Fox Sports Super 6|
Diversifying Geographic Split and Product Portfolio
The combined group is expected to enjoy a more diverse geographical demographics and product portfolio. In the financial year 2018, Flutter and TSG saw 59 percent and 38 percent of their revenue stem from their UK & Ireland customers. This would have been 49% on a combined basis.
|UK & Ireland||59%||38%||49%|
It’s not only where the revenue is generated that will undergo a significant change, but also the products this money comes from. Hardly any of Flutter’s revenue stems from online poker, but 35 percent of TSG’s revenue comes from PokerStars. Likewise, Flutter sees 18 percent of its revenue come from retail betting shops, something TSG has none of.
|Online Sports Betting||58%||32%||45%|
The combination between @FlutterPLC and The Stars Group will create a global leader in sports-betting and gaming. H… https://t.co/7xBhkO9307— Flutter plc (@FlutterPLC)
Who Is Flutter Entertainment?
Irish sports betting giant Paddy Power and Betfair agreed to a £5.8 billion merger in Aug. 2015. Four years later, the company decided to rebrand as Flutter, a name Betfair had owned for many years stemming back to the early days of the Betfair betting exchange when Betfair merged with a rival called Flutter.
Shareholders approved of the name change, and it began trading on the London Stock Exchange in May 2019. Investors in Flutter have seen their investments swell today on the news of the TSG merger, with the share price soaring by more than 18.5 percent at the time of writing.
About The Stars Group
What is now The Stars Group (TSG) was formed in Jun. 2014 when Amaya, at the time headed by David Baazov, agreed to buy the parent company of PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker from Isai and Mark Scheinberg for $4.9 billion. Amaya, now TSG, became the world’s biggest publicly listed online gambling company as a result.
With the acquiring of Sky Betting & Gaming, PokerNews' parent company iBus Media, part of TSG, was merged with Sky Betting & Gaming's site Oddschecker. Both PokerNews and Oddschecker remain operating independently of the parent company Flutter.
The Stars Group is a majority shareholder in iBus Media