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Endeavor to buy Scientific Games' OpenBet sports betting business for $1.2B

Ariel Emanuel, CEO of Endeavor.
Reading time 2:42 min
The transaction is expected to close in Q2 2022, and it has been arranged to be in cash ($1B) and common stock. Endeavor plans to combine OpenBet with its existing sports betting business, IMG Arena, to deliver official data and video streams, premium content, mobile products and betting technology solutions to sports leagues, federations and sportsbooks worldwide.

Scientific Games Corporation announced Monday that it has entered into a definitive agreement to sell its Sports Betting business, OpenBet, to Endeavor Group Holdings, a global sports entertainment company. The transaction has been agreed to be in cash and stock, and is valued at $1.2 billion.

Under the terms of the agreement, Scientific Games will receive $1 billion in cash and $200 million in Endeavor Class A common stock based on the volume-weighted average trading price of the Class A Common Stock for the 20 trading days ending on September 24, 2021, subject to customary purchase price adjustments. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2022.

Endeavor’s shares were up nearly 10% in extended trading. The company and said in an official statement that the acquisition of the sportsbook will “strengthen its position in the sports betting industry”, as it plans to combine OpenBet with its existing sports betting business, IMG ARENA, which works with more than 470 leading sportsbook brands worldwide to deliver official live streaming video and data feeds for more than 45,000 sports events annually.

Endeavor also predicted that "the combination of OpenBet and IMG ARENA will create a unique end-to-end solution, delivering official data and video streams, premium content, cutting-edge mobile products and best-in-class betting technology solutions to leagues, federations and sportsbooks worldwide".

OpenBet provides an ecosystem of sports content, technology and services to the largest operators around the world. To date, the company has over 75 global customers, including 24 sportsbooks across 12 states.

This deal comes at the peak of sports betting demand, as the United States legalizes the industry state by state, after the take-off of online betting in the post-pandemic scenario. 

In an official press release, Ariel Emanuel, CEO of Endeavor, commented: "OpenBet has built an incredible sports betting suite anchored in its best-in-class betting engine and now including expanded content, services and products for sportsbooks and fans. This capability set is the ideal complement to our IMG ARENA sports betting business, which works directly with sports rights holders. We look forward to growing these businesses together to capitalize on the strong secular tailwinds in the sports betting ecosystem."

President and CEO of Scientific Games, Barry Cottle said: "This transaction represents the culmination of a thorough process to divest OpenBet in order to maximize value for our shareholders and rapidly advance our vision to become the leading cross-platform global game company”.

“The transaction is a significant milestone towards optimizing our portfolio and de-levering the balance sheet to enhance our financial flexibility. It will position us to invest both organically and inorganically in key growth areas, particularly in content and digital markets. We are delivering on our promises and executing on our strategy to transform our company and unlock significant value for employees, customers and shareholders", he concluded.

Chief Executive of Scientific Games’ Digital business, Jordan Levin, added: "We believe Endeavor will enable us to build on our exceptional track record of innovation and reliability and unlock even greater value for our customers and employees. Endeavor's deep industry relationships and global reach make them the ideal partner. Together, these companies will be well positioned to capitalize on emerging trends to deliver even more innovative and tailored solutions to customers as we define the future of sports betting entertainment."

Endeavor went public in April and currently owns the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), Hollywood talent agency WME and sports and modeling agency IMG.

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