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Endeavor strengthens sports betting offering with US$1.2bn OpenBet acquisition

Sports and entertainment firm to combine gambling platform with IMG Arena to create end-to-end solution.

28 September 2021 Ed Dixon

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  • Endeavor to pay for acquisition through combination of cash and stock
  • Deal expected to close in Q2 2022

Sports and entertainment giant Endeavor Group Holdings has agreed to acquire OpenBet, a content, platform and service provider to the sports betting industry, in a deal worth US$1.2 billion.

Endeavor’s investment will be paid through US$1 billion in cash and US$200 million worth of Class A common stock.

The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2022, subject to regulatory consents and approvals, and customary closing conditions.

The Raine Group acted as exclusive financial advisor to Endeavor on the transaction, while Latham & Watkins served as legal advisor.

By buying OpenBet, which is currently owned by Las Vegas-based Scientific Games, Endeavor will align the platform with IMG Arena, the sports gambling services and data division of the IMG agency, to create an end-to-end solution.

The combined offering will look to deliver official data and video streams, premium content, cutting-edge mobile products and top betting technology solutions to leagues, federations and sportsbooks worldwide.

Currently, IMG Arena works with more than 470 sportsbook brands globally to deliver official live streaming video and data feeds for over 45,000 sports events annually.

OpenBet, which was founded in 1996, currently focuses on licensed customers and regulated global gaming markets, serving a customer base that includes DraftKings, FanDuel, WynnBet, SkyBet, Ladbrokes and William Hill. The company says its betting engine technology processed approximately three billion bets in 2020.

“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,” said Ari Emanuel (pictured above), chief executive of 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 capitalise on the tremendous upside we see coming from this fast-growing global industry.”

Jordan Levin, chief executive of Scientific Games’ SG Digital, added: “This transformational announcement combines OpenBet’s market-leading sports betting ecosystem with unparalleled access to sports rights, content and data across the Endeavor portfolio.

“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.”

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