Stars Group to acquire Sky Betting & Gaming for $4.7bn

23 April 2018

The Stars Group has agreed a deal to purchase Sky Betting & Gaming (SBG) from CVC Capital Partners for $4.7bn (€3.8bn).

The transaction will comprise cash and stock, with the Stars Group to pay $3.6bn in cash and the remainder in approximately 37.9 million newly-issued common shares.

These new shares will represent around 20% of the Stars Group’s issued and outstanding common shares, giving effect to the transaction and anticipated acquisitions of CrownBet and William Hill Australia.

“The acquisition of Sky Betting & Gaming is a landmark moment in the Stars Group’s history,” Stars Group chief executive Rafi Ashkenazi said.

“SBG operates one of the world’s fastest growing sportsbooks and is one of the UK’s leading gaming providers.

“SBG’s premier sports betting product is the ideal complement to our industry-leading poker platform.

“The ability to offer two low-cost acquisition channels of this magnitude provides the Stars Group with great growth potential and will significantly increase our ability to create winning moments for our customers.”

To finance the deal, the Stars Group has secured fully committed debt financing of around $6.9bn, including $5.1bn of first lien term loans, $1.4bn of senior unsecured notes and a $400m revolving credit facility.

The funded proceeds of $6.5bn will be used for the cash portion of the deal, as well as refinancing the company’s existing first lien term loan and repaying SBG’s outstanding debt.

Subject to approval, the Stars Group expects the deal to go through during the third quarter of this year.

Richard Flint, chief executive of SBG, added: “We have had a fantastic last few years and would like to thank CVC and Sky for supporting us in becoming a leading online operator in the UK.

“This transaction allows us to offer our best-in-class products to a truly global audience; we’re excited about our future together.”

Ashkenazi also said: “Following this transaction, the Stars Group will have significantly enhanced scale and a highly-regarded global brand portfolio.

“As a result, we are well positioned to realise our vision of becoming the world’s favourite igaming destination.”

Related article: Stars Group reveals widespread financial growth in 2017