Flutter Entertainment is to take its stake in FanDuel to 95 per cent, after announcing a $4.175bn (£3.131bn) conditional agreement to acquire the 37.2 per cent interest in the group that is currently held by Fastball. The remaining five per cent will continue to be held by Boyd Gaming.
The global gaming and sports betting group, which is increasing its ownership in FanDuel from 57.8 per cent, is to fund the deal with a combination of $2.088bn in cash and the issuance of 11.7 million ordinary shares. Flutter has also announced its intention to conduct a £1.1bn equity placing.
Peter Jackson, Flutter chief executive, said of the transaction: “Flutter’s initial acquisition of a controlling stake in FanDuel in 2018 has been transformational for the shape of the group. Our number one position in the crucial US market is built on many of the assets we acquired through that transaction, supported by the broader group’s capabilities.
“Our intention has always been to increase our stake in the business and I’m delighted to be able to do so earlier than originally planned and at a discount to its closest peer.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank our partners in Fastball for their tremendous support over the last 2½ years and for their ongoing commitment to Flutter as soon-to-be shareholders in the wider group.
“We look forward to continuing to grow our US business, alongside our key media partner Fox, as further states move to regulate sports betting and gaming.”
Flutter, which says that the deal is conditional on shareholder approval, comments that the translation materially increases its exposure to a US market that it asserts is ‘the most attractive sector opportunity today’. The deal terminates Fastball’s economic interest in Fox Bet.
Lachlan Murdoch, executive chairman and CEO of Fox Corporation, commented: “We are delighted to participate in this capital raising. Maintaining our ownership stake in Flutter signifies our long-term commitment to Flutter, and ongoing confidence in management’s ability to execute against the fast growing US opportunity.
“Fox’s audiences have proven to be highly engaged with free to play and wagering content, and we are excited to offer them access to products from Flutter’s market leading stable of US brands.”