Endeavor Group announced Friday it has closed its previously announced acquisition of sports betting services and platform provider OpenBet from Light & Wonder. The purchase was valued at approximately $800 million and paid through a combination of cash ($750 million) and shares of Endeavor’s Class A common stock.
OpenBet has more than 1,000 team members situated across the globe, and focuses exclusively on licensed customers and regulated global gaming markets. It serves a client base that includes heavyweight sportsbooks such as DraftKings, FanDuel, SkyBet, Ladbrokes and William Hill.
The company specializes in betting engine technology, processing millions of bets annually, as well as trading, pricing and risk management tools; player account and wallet solutions; front-end UX and UI; and content offerings such as BetBuilder, DonBest pricing feeds and an industry-first sports content aggregation platform.
Ariel Emanuel, CEO of Endeavor, stated in a press release: “The addition of OpenBet to our sports betting portfolio will enable us to further capitalize on the massive tailwinds in the fast-evolving sports betting ecosystem and lead the way in defining the future of sports betting entertainment."
“In combination with our IMG ARENA sports data and content business, we’ll look to create and unlock meaningful value for our rights holders and sportsbook customers, helping deliver the most compelling offerings for sports fans globally," Emanuel added.
Going forward, OpenBet and Endeavor's IMG ARENA are set to form a fourth operating segment for Endeavor, Sports Data & Technology, beginning January 2023. IMG ARENA works with more than 470 sportsbook brands, leagues and federations worldwide to deliver official FastPath live streaming video and data feeds for more than 45,000 sports events annually.
Jordan Levin, CEO, OpenBet, also commented: “We’ve been awaiting this day when we can bring together everything OpenBet has to offer with the depth of expertise and relationships that Endeavor and IMG bring to the table. Our focus remains on providing our customers with the most innovative solutions to give their fans the ultimate sports betting complement to live sports. We couldn’t be more excited to lean into the Endeavor network to accelerate and amplify that mission."
The Raine Group acted as exclusive financial advisor to Endeavor on the transaction. Latham & Watkins LLP acted as legal advisor to Endeavor. Initially, Endeavor was set to pay $1.2 billion, and the deal was set to close in the second quarter. However, in July it was announced that Light & Wonder cut the price by a third.