atthew Tripp, former CEO of Beteasy and CrownBet, is set to take a AUD 25 million (USD 19.36M) stake in listed Australian wagering software and data services company BetMakers.
The Board of BetMakers Technology Group said Wednesday that the agreement will see Tripp partner exclusively with BetMakers to accelerate growth of its B2B wagering strategy in the Australian market, and the company said it is also looking at opportunities in the U.S., with a particular focus on those which can leverage BetMakers' anticipated acquisition of the tote and digital business from Sportech.
The transaction with Tripp will result in the issue of approximately 35.7 million shares, at an issue price of AUD 0.70 per share. He will emerge with close to a 5% stake in the group.
The Company has also received firm commitments of AUD 50.0 M cornerstoned by several existing, supportive institutions, which will be undertaken pursuant to the company's existing placement capacity and at the same price as the proposed placement to Tripp. This is expected to settle on 23 February 2021, with shares expected to trade on ASX on 24 February 2021.
The company said all funds raised will be used to accelerate growth, specifically in pursuing and executing strategic opportunities. Following completion of the capital raising and the transaction with Sportech, the company will have approximately AUD 110 M in cash on hand.
Tripp is one of the biggest names in Australia’s wagering sector, having helped turn Sportsbet into the country’s second largest bookmaker behind Tabcorp and then partnering with Crown Resorts on his next venture, BetEasy.
Sportsbet and BetEasy were both snapped up by large offshore gaming and wagering companies, and are now owned by Stars Group. He’s regarded as a hands-on operator, not necessarily a passive investor, although it is not known exactly what role he will play at Betmakers, the Australian Financial Review reports. He is also chairman of the Melbourne Storm.
BetMakers Chief Executive Officer Todd Buckingham said in a press release: "We are thrilled to have secured Matt Tripp's backing, both in the form a significant investment in the Company and also as a key advisor on strategic and transformational deals that he will now pursue. Matt has a proven track record over a brilliant career in the online wagering industry and his support for BetMakers is a great vote of confidence in our Company."
Matt Tripp commented: "BetMakers has cemented itself with a compelling proposition in the global racing wagering market. They have built a formidable team with a highly trusted brand and established a global footprint with a large customer base. I am delighted to invest into the Company and take on a role to assist in growing the business at scale globally. I see clear opportunities to support that growth through inorganic and organic deals both in Australia and internationally."
BetMakers' Board also said Wednesday that it has entered into a new agreement with Buckingham. Under the terms of the agreement, he will remain the CEO of BetMakers until 30 June 2024.
BetMakers Chairman Nick Chan said: "Todd has delivered outstanding growth and opportunity for the Company through his leadership and vision and the Board is delighted to have secured his commitment under agreeable terms going forward."