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Betfair Paddy Power merge with Pokerstars 03/10/19
• Flutter Entertainment, the new name for Betfair Paddy Power agress mega merger with The Stars Group, Pokerstars owner along with Sky Bet, in £10bn deal

Flutter Entertainment, the parent company recently created with the name of one of the original Betfair merger partners,, now owner of Paddy Power Betfair, has agreed a deal to acquire all of the shares in The Stars Group (TSG) and merge with the operator to form a combined business with annual revenue of £3.8bn (€4.3bn/$4.7bn).

Under the agreement, which would create the largest online betting and gaming operator globally, Flutter would exchange 0.2253 new shares in exchange for each TSG share, with Flutter shareholders owning approximately 54.64% of shares in the combined business and TSG shareholders 45.36%

Flutter chief executive Peter Jackson, who would assume the same role at the combined business, said: “The combination represents a great opportunity to deliver a step change in our presence in international markets and ensure we are ideally positioned to take advantage of the exciting opportunity in the US through a media relationship with Fox Sports as well as our development of US sports betting through Flutter’s FanDuel and TSG’s Fox Bet brands.

He added, “We believe the combination of Flutter and TSG will deliver substantial value for shareholders. We will have an exceptional portfolio of leading recreational brands and best-in-class products on industry-leading technology platforms.”

Flutter chief financial officer Jonathan Hill would assume the same role at combined group, while TSG chief executive Rafi Ashkenazi would serve as chief operating officer. “This exciting combination will allow us to enhance and accelerate our existing strategy," Ashkenazi said. "In recent years, we have transformed TSG from a single product operator in poker, to a diverse global leader with multiple product offerings across poker, gaming and sports betting.

Other conditions needed for the deal to be final include approval from the FCA, London Stock Exchange and Euronext Dublin, as well as the satisfaction of various merger controls, foreign investment and gaming related approvals in the UK, Ireland, Australia, the US and Canada.

Flutter bought FanDuel last year as it sought to establish a US bulkhead in the wake of the supreme court’s decision to legalise sports betting, a ruling that triggered a race between UK bookmakers to enter the lucrative new market.

Fox Sports, TSG’s US media partner for Fox Bet, will have the right to purchase an 18.5% equity interest in FanDuel Group at its market value in 2021

"Our Fox Bet partnership is off to a great start, and teaming up with Flutter and FanDuel will allow us to build on that strength and jointly capture the significant market potential ahead of us," Fox Corporation executive chairman and CEO Lachlan Murdoch commented. "We're excited to be able to expand our partnership into FanDuel, which together with FOX Bet, will be a leader in sports wagering in the US."

Meanwhile, Boyd, Flutter’s co-shareholder in FanDuel, and Fastball will receive a payment of 12.5% of the increase in Fox Bet’s market value between completion of the merger and the exercise of Flutter’s option to acquire Fastball’s remaining equity interest in FanDuel in July 2023.

In return, Fox Sports, Fastball and Boyd have waived exclusivity provisions that form part of the existing contractual arrangements in relation to the relevant US subsidiaries of TSG and Flutter.

“This will enable Flutter to capitalise upon the relaxation of American laws on sports betting, which is now legal in 11 states, with seven more primed to announced a launch date,” said Russ Mould, the investment director at stockbroker AJ Bell.