It is official: Paddy Power Betfair is now the majority owner of FanDuel.
In an email sent out to FanDuel customers Wednesday morning, the Dublin-based bookmaker and the daily fantasy sports giant announced the merge, bringing a long-awaited close to a deal that began nearly two months ago.
From the email:
“Today is a milestone for the sports industry. We are excited to share that we closed our previously announced merger agreement with Paddy Power Betfair to combine our US businesses, allowing us to move forward with our promise to provide you, our loyal users, an even better experience.”
Known now as “FanDuel Group,” the two companies become one as they push forward into the sports betting industry.
Deal closure hinted at earlier this week
The finalization of this acquisition was hinted at earlier this week, when it was confirmed that the sports betting operation at Meadowlands Racetrack in New Jersey would be known as FanDuel Sportsbook at the Meadowlands Racetrack.
Now, it is official. More from the email sent out Wednesday:
“Today marks the beginning of a new phase in the evolution of sports gaming. We will bring together the shared talent, expertise, and resources of both companies to better serve all players and sports fans.”
Long time coming
Back in March, during a PPB earnings call, CEO Peter Jackson indicated that the company was “considering options” for how PPB could “participate in the event of positive (sports betting) regulatory changes.”
In May, the US Supreme Court struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA). Soon after, Delaware and New Jersey went live with legalized sports betting. A number of other states are in position to join them. The ball was rolling, and PPB was eager to get into the action.
Just over a week after the SCOTUS ruling, Legal Sports Report confirmed a rumor that PPB was interested in taking on FanDuel. The deal was expected to close in Q3. It did – just a few days into the quarter.
Reshuffling for FanDuel Group
Though terms of the acquisition have not been disclosed, PPB grabbed a 61 percent stake in FanDuel, a holding that could reach the full 100 percent over the next five years, according to LSR.
FanDuel CEO Matt King has become the front man for FanDuel Group, and Kip Levin, who was the CEO for what is now defunct Betfair US, moves into the role of President and COO.
Because of the deal, the NBA, which had a small stake in FanDuel, has pulled out as a partner. Still, a league source has said that the league and the company will maintain a marketing relationship.
Welcoming FanDuel Group
Moving forward, FanDuel will be the face of the sports betting franchise.
Paddy Power Betfair holds partnerships with Tioga Downs in New York and the Meadowlands. To boot, FanDuel recently announced a deal for the company to provide a sportsbook for The Greenbrier resort in West Virginia, which expects to roll out sports betting regulations in the fall.
The portfolio of FanDuel Group appears strong, as its US assets include the following:
- TVG, a horse betting site
- FanDuel and DRAFT, two DFS companies
- Betfair NJ online casino
As a result, FanDuel Group is positioned to become a leader in the ever-expanding US sports betting industry.