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Endeavor Group Holdings, Inc. , a global sports and entertainment company, has entered into an agreement to acquire OpenBet, a leading content, platform and service provider to the sports betting industry, from Scientific Games Corporation for $1.2bn (£880m/€1.03bn) paid through a combination of cash ($1bn) and Endeavor’s Class A common stock ($200 million).
The acquisition will complement Endeavor’s position within the sports betting ecosystem, currently anchored by IMG ARENA, which works with more than 470 leading sportsbook brands worldwide to deliver official live streaming video and data feeds for more than 45,000 sports events annually.
The combination of OpenBet and IMG ARENA will create a unique end-to-end solution, delivering official data and video streams, premium content, cutting-edge mobile products and betting technology solutions to leagues, federations and sportsbooks worldwide.
“OpenBet marks a strategic addition to our sports betting portfolio as we look to round out our technology and product offering for sportsbook operators and sports brands worldwide,” remarked Ariel Emanuel, CEO, Endeavor. “The combination of OpenBet and our IMG ARENA business will enable us to expand our footprint across the entire sports betting value chain and further capitalize on the tremendous upside we see coming from this fast-growing global industry.”
“This transformational announcement combines OpenBet’s market-leading sports betting ecosystem with unparalleled access to sports rights, content and data across the Endeavor portfolio,” said Jordan Levin, Chief Executive of Scientific Games’ Digital business. “Together, we are uniquely positioned to define the future of sports betting entertainment. Putting our customers and their players at the heart of our product and technology innovation will remain the key to our ongoing success. The team at OpenBet is second to none and we’re laser-focused on the rapid expansion of the global sports betting market. Ari’s leadership and vision for the entertainment industry is exceptional and this is supported by Scientific Games’ commitment to Endeavor through the stock component of this deal.”
OpenBet, with more than 1000 team members situated across the globe, focuses exclusively on licensed customers and regulated global gaming markets serving a customer base that includes many top-tier sportsbooks such as DraftKings, FanDuel, WynnBet, SkyBet, Ladbrokes and William Hill. OpenBet specializes in betting engine technology, having processed approximately three billion bets in 2020, as well as trading, pricing and risk management tools; player account and wallet solutions; innovative front-end UX and UI; and content offerings such as BetBuilder, DonBest pricing feeds and an industry-first sports content aggregation platform.
IMG ARENA works with leading sportsbook brands, leagues and federations worldwide, providing always-on services including live streaming and on-demand virtual sports products that inspire engagement by placing fans at the heart of the action. IMG ARENA’s rights holder clients include the PGA TOUR, Ryder Cup, UFC, ATP, USTA, Wimbledon, MLS and The Football Association.
The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2022, subject to regulatory consents and approvals, and customary closing conditions.