According to The Currency, Eddie Jordan, an Irish businessman who rose to prominence in Formula One administration and research, is making a $1 billion bid for Scientific Games’ OpenBet sports betting operation.
Former Australian Formula One racing driver Mark Webber reportedly revealed the potential buyout in an Instagram post, calling the move as a “mega acquisition in gaming.”
Scientific Games, a Nasdaq-listed firm, put OpenBet on the market last month after completing a strategy review with the goal of ‘significantly de-levering and positioning the Company for enhanced growth.’
The company’s corporate debt has increased significantly over the last decade, with the $5.1 billion acquisition of Bally’s Technology in 2014 bringing the total to $8.5 billion.
Even before the financial instability caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, reducing this debt was a top priority for the corporation. The debt presently stands at $9.5 billion, more than $4 billion higher than the company’s $5.40 billion market capitalisation.
SGC’s US-facing OpenBet segment is valued at $6.2 billion and handles roughly $10 billion in wagers annually, according to Ethan O’Loughlin. It has a staff of 1,100 people and works with a number of well-known worldwide sportsbook operators, including Flutter Entertainment’s Paddy Power and Betfair brands.
Quick solution to debt problems
The sale of OpenBet will likely come across as a quick solution to SGC’s debt problems, as the global sports betting industry continues to expand rapidly – perhaps best demonstrated by developments in North America, which have seen numerous US states and, most recently, Canada open their markets to the sector – as a number of interested suitors can be expected.
Former CEO of Irish bookmaker BoyleSports Online, Director at Coral previous to its merger with Ladbrokes, and Executive Vice President of OpenBet prior to its sale to SGC by NYX Gaming Group, O’Loughlin is said to be supportive of Jordan’s proposal.
Jordan has made a number of additional investments outside of motorsports, notably in the betting and gaming industry, as well as in other industries such as football – namely Celtic FC – golf clubs, vodka, and energy drinks.