Better Collective AS announced that it had reached “definitive terms” to acquire the Action Network, securing the “outright leader’s position” in the US sports betting media and affiliate landscape.
Better Collective reported on Monday that it had completed the largest M&A deal to date, purchasing the properties of US sports betting publisher Action Network for $240 million (€198 million) on a “cash and debt-free basis.”
The Action Network buyout, which will boost and diversify the publisher’s US growth strategy by adding the revenue-effective assets of Action Pro, Action Labs, and Fantasy Labs to its US media portfolio, was dubbed “key” by the Stockholm-listed publisher.
Better Collective announced that Action Network will continue to operate as a separate business entity under Better Collective US, with its brands.
CEO Patrick Keane will continue to lead Action Network’s day-to-day operations, reporting directly to Better Collective US Chief Executive Marc Pedersen.
New share issuance
Better Collective has set aside a $12 million new share issuance for Action Network’s main management, staff, and stakeholders as part of the agreement.
Keane said: “I am thrilled about this outcome for our employees and investors and we look forward to continuing to forge great relationships with our league, media and sportsbook partners.
“Under Better Collective’s ownership, we become part of a company with many years of experience and all the resources necessary to further grow our position and develop our offering, to ultimately enhance the betting and entertainment experience for sports fans. We gain new colleagues, career paths and perspectives. I’m looking very much forward to the journey ahead.”
Accelerated growth trajectory
Better Collective updated stakeholders on Action Network’s accelerated growth trajectory, stating that the organisation is “expected to achieve revenues approaching $40 million, an increase of over 100 percent year-on-year, while also generating positive operational earnings in 2021”.
Better Collective would expand its US wagering editorial and technical provisions by acquiring Action Network’s “original sports news content, premium insights, deep menus of odds, and proprietary betting tools and data” as part of the contract.
In the three years after the federal repeal of PASPA, Better Collective CEO Jesper Sgaard lauded Action Network as a young and ambitious organisation that had become the “most trusted source” for sports fans in the United States.
“I am thrilled to welcome Action and its employees to Better Collective,” he said. “This acquisition, which is the largest in Better Collective’s history, gives us a leading position within affiliation in the US and a strong foundation for profiting from the continuous regulation of the US betting market.
“We add three new, very well positioned US sports media brands to our portfolio and welcome around 100 new colleagues, together representing an invaluable pool of knowledge and expertise on the US sports betting media market. By all accounts, this is a great day for Better Collective.”
Better Collective concluded its statement by announcing that it would incorporate Action Network assets directly into its group-wide financial statements.
As a result, Better Collective’s full-year 2021 trading is expected to reach €180 million (previously +€160 million), with full-year company underlying income expected to exceed €55 million (previously +€50 million).
On the 12th of May, Better Collective will release the prospectus for its Action Network deal as part of its Q1 2021 trading update.