The Stars Group has completed the $4.7 billion acquisition of Sky Betting and Gaming.
With the completion of the deal the company says it is now “the world’s largest publicly listed online gaming company”. It also believes it finally has a sports offering that matches its global dominance of poker, through it’s Pokerstars brand.
The Stars Group, last April, reached an agreement with the owners of Sky Bet — CVC Capital Partners — and media giant Sky PLC to acquire Sky Bet and its brands.
The Stars Group believes the deal “dramatically improves The Stars Group’s revenue diversity, creating a balanced spread across poker, casino and sportsbook with a broad geographic reach.”
Even before the acquisition, Sky Bet was one of the leading betting operators in the United Kingdom. Revenue of the company went up by 38% to £516m (€585m/$685m), in the last financial year. In addition, patronage also increased by 31% to 2.6 million.
The company posted an increase in profit of 38 per cent to £146m before tax, compared to £105m in 2016 in the period up to June 30. The increase in revenue has continued to the first half of this year as revenue is up by 58 per cent to £210m.
The CEO of Stars Group Rafi Ashkenazi in a statement said, “this acquisition represents a pivotal moment in The Stars Group’s evolution.” He said the deal would allow the company to develop sports betting “as a second customer acquisition channel”.
“We believe this combination along with our combined online casino offerings positions The Stars Group for continued growth in the evolving online gaming industry.”
The integration of Sky Bet’s technological expertise in the sports area and their portfolio of mobile apps and casino offerings mean they were a perfect acquisition for Stars.
The latest acquisition comes hot on the heels on Stars Group’s decision to enter the Australian wagering landscape, following the purchase of Crownbet, a licensed sports betting operator down under.
Just weeks before this deal was finalised Crownbet acquired William Hill’s Australian offerings, creating one of the biggest gambling companies in this part of the world.
It has not all been smooth sailing for Stars though, with the company needing to rebrand both these acquisitions to stop clashes with former ownership, however a rival bookmaker — Sportsbet — quashed the preferred new brand — Sportingbet.com.au — in the Supreme Court because it believes it infringes on their brand. BetEasy.com.au is now the frontrunner for the solidified brands in Australia.
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