Founded in 2017 and launched in 2018, Action’s media platforms provide sports news content, insights, deep menus of odds, and proprietary betting tools and data. Action's diverse revenue model includes a marketing business focused on customer acquisition for betting operators in the US as well as subscription products, anchored by Action Pro, Action Labs, and Fantasy Labs.
In 2021, Action is expected to achieve revenues approaching $40 million, an increase of over 100% year-on-year, while also generating positive operational earnings in 2021.
As more states legalize online sports betting, the potential to further deepen and expand Action's commercial partnerships with large US-based sportsbooks such as BetMGM, DraftKings, FanDuel, and PointsBet is significant.
The purchase will be settled in a cash payment and a $12 million issuance of new Better Collective shares to Action’s management, key employees, and certain other individuals. $10 million of the cash payment will be paid on a deferred basis as settlement of certain existing share options in Action. The number of Better Collective shares issued will be determined by the volume-weighted share price 5 trading days prior to the date of this announcement. Further, the issued Better Collective shares will be subject to a lock-up of between 6 and 24 months following completion of the transaction. The cash component of the purchase price will be provided through bank financing.
The acquisition is subject to customary regulatory approvals and is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2021.
The CEO of Better Collective Jesper Søgaard, said: “I am thrilled to welcome Action and its employees to Better Collective. This acquisition, which is the largest in Better Collective’s history, gives us a leading position within affiliation in the US and a strong foundation for profiting from the continuous regulation of the US betting market. We add three new, very well positioned US sports media brands to our portfolio and welcome around 100 new colleagues, together representing an invaluable pool of knowledge and expertise on the US sports betting media market. By all accounts, this is a great day for Better Collective”.
Patrick Keane, the CEO of Action, commented: “Today marks a great achievement in the history of Action. In just a few years, our team has managed to build a leading sports betting product and media business in the US market, making us attractive to a leading international player. I am thrilled about this outcome for our employees and investors and we look forward to continuing to forge great relationships with our league, media, and sportsbook partners. Under Better Collective’s ownership, we become part of a company with many years of experience and all the resources necessary to further grow our position and develop our offering, to ultimately enhance the betting and entertainment experience for sports fans. We gain new colleagues, career paths, and perspectives. I’m looking very much forward to the journey ahead”.
While the US sports betting market has grown rapidly since the repeal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) removed a federal ban on online gambling, only 13 states have legalized online gambling so far. Many more are expected to follow in the coming years, with the addressable market significantly expanding as a result. Total online sports betting revenues in the US are forecasted to reach $4 billion in 2022 and amount to nearly $40 billion by 2033.
Given the continued pace of new states regulating, Better Collective expects the US market to continue growing and its US revenues to surpass $100 million by 2022, with positive and increasing operational earnings.
Action will become an integral part of Better Collective US and will continue to operate as a separate business unit with its current brands, management team, and employees, led by CEO Patrick Keane who will report to Group Management through US CEO, Marc Pedersen. Action will integrate with Better Collective’s current organization where relevant in order to generate efficiencies.
The acquisition of Action will bring Better Collective's estimated debt leverage above the company’s financial target of <3.0. The Board of Directors has decided that for the time being, it is acceptable for the company’s debt leverage to exceed the financial target of 3.0, the target remains in place for 2021. The Board will therefore decide upon any potential changes to the company’s long-term capital structure in due course.