Stats snaps up Perform to create data giant

15 April 2019

US sports data giant Stats has struck a deal to acquire Perform, the digital sports media and content provider that operates the Opta, RunningBall and Watch&Bet services for gaming industry partners and sports media companies.

The value of the deal, which is expected to close in the second half of 2019, was not disclosed.

Perform Group changed its name to DAZN Group in October and separated its online-streaming and B2B units with the creation of the Perform Content division, paving the way for a likely spin-off.

Vista Equity Partners has helped to fund the fund the transaction, with DAZN set to receive a combination of cash and a minority shareholding in the newly formed company. PJT Partners served as exclusive financial advisor to DAZN and Perform for the deal.

Perform Content posted a 41% increase in turnover to £278m in the 12 months through to December 2017.

The merger has been announced just days after Perform sealed an agreement to become an authorised betting data distributor in the US for North America’s Major League Baseball.

Perform already collects and distributes data from various other major sports league from around the world via its RunningBall fast data service, including football’s English Premier League and LaLiga in Spain.

In February, Perform unveiled Bet365 and SkyBet as the launch partners for its new Opta Fast Player Statistics Feed real-time data service.

Simon Denyer, the chief executive of Perform’s parent company, DAZN Group, said that all net proceeds from the deal would be invested into DAZN, which operates streaming services in various markets worldwide, as well as other online assets such as the football-dedicated website

Stats CEO Carl Mergele was keen to stress the opportunity to establish a new entity that will aim to break new ground in technological innovation.

“Bringing Perform into the fold will create the most advanced artificial intelligence company in sports, providing deeper, more robust data and insights, which is essential to our global partners,” he said.

“Not only will we be able to improve our offerings to existing customers, we now have the opportunity to expand our presence in global markets where Perform has paved inroads for years as a leader in digital sports content.”

Perform was previously listed on the London Stock Exchange before returning to the hands of previous owner Access Industries, the privately-owned industrials group controlled by Len Blavatnik.

“The combination of STATS and Perform creates a powerful opportunity as the experience of sports for consumers continues to evolve,” Blavatnik said.

Vista Equity Partners founder, chairman and CEO Robert Smith added: “Stats and Perform are two exceptional, highly complementary companies with extensive backgrounds as industry innovators that will deliver superior products to customers as one combined entity.”