Flutter Entertainment (NYSE: FLTR), the parent company to Paddy Power and BetFair, announced today that they are purchasing a 37.2% stake in the North American sports betting group FanDuel.
Flutter is paying a reported $4.18 billion to purchase the shares from Fastball, bringing Flutter’s total stake in FanDuel up from 57.8% to 95%. Boyd Gaming (NYSE: BYD) currently holds the remaining 5% of the FanDuel ownership stake.
Flutter’s payment comes in the form of $2.088 billion in cash combined with an estimated 11.7 million Flutter shares.
Flutter chief executive Peter Jackson expressed his excitement in today’s press release: “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.”
This move accelerates a move that was already laid out to take place over a tiered release, one in July of 2021 and the other in July of 2023. Each of these were intended to adjust pricing to reflect the market value at the time of the transaction.
The Fox Corporation is a large investor in Flutter, and their broadcasting rights and a clear interest in sports betting puts them in a prime position to further profit off of the announcement.
In a statement Fox chairman Lachlan Murdoch stated: “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 has already noted that free-to-play wagering content has resonated well with their viewership, and this partnership will help them further explore these offerings as the North American sports betting market expansion continues.