Stars Group To Acquire Remaining 20% BetEasy Interest

The Stars Group has reached an agreement with its Australian-based sports betting business BetEasy’s minority shareholders, which sees the group buying the remaining 20 percent interest in the company for AU$151 m (£ 79.5 m).

Stars has agreed to pay AU$100 m (£ 52.6 m) as part of this deal to settle a previously disclosed quality fee under the agreements for its initial 80 percent interest acquisition in 2018.

“I’m delighted to reach this agreement for our BetEasy business,” commented Rafi Ashkenazi, chief executive officer of The Stars Group.

“The launch of BetEasy through our acquisitions of CrownBet and William Hill Australia in 2018 created one of the leading operators in Australia and increased our exposure to a high-growth regulated market.

“Matt Tripp’s entrepreneurial spirit and vision has guided BetEasy since he founded the business, and we are glad he will oversee the transition as non-executive president.”

Stars emphasises that it currently expects to complete the minority acquisition within 90 days of either issuing the audited financial statements of The Stars Group for the year ending December 31, 2020, or completing the previously announced board-recommended combination of all shares with Flutter Entertainment.

The Stars Group will settle the performance or earn-out payment for AUD$100 m to the minority shareholders in addition to acquiring the remaining interest.

The performance payment, which could have reached AU$232 million (£ 122.2 million), was subject to certain performance conditions primarily associated with BetEasy’s EBITDA. The Stars Group will also repay AU$56.9 million (£ 29.9 million) of outstanding BetEasy minority shareholder loans.

Matt Tripp, BetEasy’s CEO, will provide ongoing leadership as the non-executive president beginning January 1, 2020, with Andrew Menz, who previously served as BetEasy’s director of strategy and regulatory affairs, as his successor in the CEO role.

“I’m pleased to see our long-term succession plan come to fruition. Andrew Menz brings deep commercial and regulatory experience which leaves BetEasy in a strong position to continue delivering profitable growth,” Tripp said.

“I know that this business, which we founded back in 2013, is in very capable hands with a strong executive team and the backing of The Stars Group, who have been terrific partners and global leaders in this industry.”