Scientific Games Corporation has stated that its Openbet subsidiary will be sold to Endeavor Holdings, a Hollywood-based sports and entertainment company, for $1.2 billion (€1.05 billion).
Endeavor, the investment fund of US film moguls Ariel Emanuel (CEO) and Patrick Whitesell (Chairman), has agreed to buy full ownership of Openbet for $1 billion in cash and $200 million in Endeavor NYSE class-A stocks.
The acquisition has been dubbed “transformative” by Endeavor, as Openbet technologies will allow its sports and entertainment companies to better leverage their services in the multibillion-dollar US wagering market.
Endeavor, the parent company of the UFC, IMG, EuroLeague Basketball, Miss Universe, and the William Morris Agency, debuted on the New York Stock Exchange in April, obtaining a +$10 billion valuation and positioning itself as the revolutionary entertainment firm for a new generation of fans.
Incredible sports betting suite
Ariel Emanuel, CEO, Endeavor said: “OpenBet has built an incredible sports betting suite anchored in its best-in-class betting engine and now including expanded content, services and products for sportsbooks and fans.
“This capability set is the ideal complement to our IMG ARENA sports betting business, which works directly with sports rights holders. We look forward to growing these businesses together to capitalize on the strong secular tailwinds in the sports betting ecosystem.”
Scientific Games has completed the first step of its’ strategic unit divestment,’ which was approved by Chairman Jamie Odell with the goal of reducing the Nasdaq technology group’s $9 billion in debt.
Scientific Games’ President and Chief Executive Officer, Barry Cottle, stated: “This transaction represents the culmination of a thorough process to divest OpenBet in order to maximise value for our shareholders and rapidly advance our vision to become the leading cross-platform global game company.
“We are delivering on our promises and executing on our strategy to transform our company and unlock significant value for employees, customers and shareholders.”
In 2018, Scientific Games purchased Openbet as part of its £700 million acquisition of NYX Gaming, as the technology company sought to expand into the online gambling market.
Premier systems supplier
Openbet is considered as the premier systems supplier in the sports betting industry, with 75 customers globally, including tier-1 betting companies SkyBet, William Hill, and Ladbrokes.
TheScore, DraftKings, BetMGM, and FanDuel are among Openbet’s US clients, and they will be keeping a close eye on Endeavor’s progress as the marketplace and its technology landscape are further reshaped by M&A activity.
Jordan Levin, the Chief Executive Officer of Scientific Games’ Digital business said: “We believe Endeavor will enable us to build on our exceptional track record of innovation and reliability and unlock even greater value for our customers and employees.
“Endeavor’s deep industry relationships and global reach make them the ideal partner. Together, these companies will be well-positioned to capitalize on emerging trends to deliver even more innovative and tailored solutions to customers as we define the future of sports betting entertainment.”