A new chapter in the history of several of the nations biggest betting brands looks likely to begin in 2020, with a merger that will create the biggest gambling conglomerate in the entire world.
Flutter Entertainment, the company created by the merger of Paddy Power and Betfair, and The Stars Group (TSG), who acquired Sky Betting and Gaming (SBG) in 2018, will have a combined market value of £10.5 billion when the deal goes through in the second quarter of next year.
Their next biggest rival in the UK betting industry would be Ladbrokes Coral, with a combined market share of £4.35 billion, less than half that of the new venture.
What Exactly is Happening?
As a bettor there is nothing for you to worry about. The deal will take place behind closed doors and the betting brands involved will continue to run just as they always have.
The deal is estimated to save an estimated £140 million in combined running costs each year so maybe some of that saving will be passed on to customers?
Seriously though, Flutter’s CEO Peter Jackson said:
“We will have an exceptional portfolio of leading recreational brands and best-in-class products on industry-leading technology platforms.”
That certainly is good news for customers, and furthermore, it sounds like responsible gambling will be high on the list of priorities if Flutter’s chairman Gary McCann is to be believed. He said that the group would be a:
“strong voice in the promotion of responsible gambling worldwide”
Realistically, the whole thing is about allowing the businesses to grow and expand into markets that were previously too difficult or too expensive to crack, so it’s all about strategic growth and will have little impact on the regular bettor on the street in this country.
Why do Brands Merge Like This?
Flutter Entertainment have been the ones who were really pushing for the deal, and in this specific case the American market has a lot to do with it.
Gambling laws in America have recently relaxed somewhat, and sports betting has become legal in 11 states with many more close to joining them if rumours are to be believed. This merger will give Flutter a much stronger shot at conquering the US market because as well as their own partnership with FanDual, The Stars Group has an ongoing partnership with Fox Sports.
What’s more, an analyst at the stockbroker, Davy, said:
“Our view is that [the US] will be a highly concentrated market with only three or four players at that top table.”
After this deal is complete, Flutter will own 2 of the 4, with Bet365 and DraftKings being the others.
TSG is also six times larger than Flutter in markets outside of Europe, Australia, and the USA, so this deal will allow them to expand into other lucrative markets and give them a much bigger platform to work from.
Let’s Talk Numbers #
Yes lets. And there are so big numbers involved, too.
Based on the revenue of both companies in 2018, this new UK company would have a combined annual revenue of £3.8 billion. That is no small sum.
Shareholders will be happy about the deal too, as those holding shares in Flutter get a 55% majority with The Stars Group taking the other 45%. Shares in Flutter as expected to jump by 20% to £91.26, and shareholders of The Stars Group will get 0.23 shares in Flutter for every share they own in TSG.
This will be aided by the fact that the new group will have over 13 million customers in more than 100 different markets worldwide.
Share prices for both companies have already jumped since the announcement was made and investors were quick to sign off on the deal, so unless something goes drastically wrong we can expect this to be one merger that makes a lot of money for a lot of people.