Endeavor Group Holdings to acquire OpenBet in $1.2bn cash and stock deal

Endeavor Group Holdings to acquire OpenBet in $1.2bn cash and stock deal

California-headquartered entertainment & talent-agency Endeavor Group Holdings has agreed to acquire sports gambling firm OpenBet for $1.2 billion in cash and stock. Owned by Scientific Games Corporation, OpenBet is a sportsbook and gaming software firm based in Chiswick area of London in the United Kingdom. It has offices in a number of countries in the world, including Athens, Australia, Canada, Montreal, Greece, and Sydney. It has a workforce of around 1,000 people.

Revealing the value of the acquisition deal, Endeavor said that it would make the payment for the British sports betting firm through a combination of cash and stock, $1 billion in cash and $200 million in its Class A common stock. The deal is expected to close sometime in the second quarter (Q2) of 2022, subject to regulatory approvals and other conditions.

Endeavor, the owner of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), believes that the acquisition of OpenBet will bolster its position in the fast-growing sports betting space. At present, the company’s strategy is centered on IMG Arena, which is part of the group’s integrated businesses and operates more than 470 sportsbook brands in nearly three dozen countries around the world. It provides official live streaming videos as well as data feeds for thousands of sports events every year. It has partnerships with some of the world’s leading sports federations. Its rights holder clients include the ATP, Football Association, Major League Soccer (MLS), UFC, Ryder Cup, Wimbledon, United States Tennis Association (USTA), and the PGA Tour.

Announcing the acquisition deal, Endeavor CEO Ari Emanuel said, “OpenBet marks a strategic addition to our sports betting portfolio as we look to round out our technology and product offering for sportsbook operators and sports brands worldwide.”

The top executive further said that the combination of OpenBet and its IMG Arena operations would enable it to further expand its reach across the entire sports betting value chain as well as in the world’s fast-growing gaming industry as a whole. It may be noted here that online sports betting enjoyed a huge growth in wake of Covid-19 pandemic.

With exclusive focus on regulated gaming markets, OpenBet counts leading sportsbooks like FanDuel, DraftKings, William Hill, Ladbrokes, SkyBet, and WynBet, among its clients. According to the London-headquartered sportsbook and gaming software firm’s claims, it processed nearly three billion bets in 2020.