The merger between Flutter Entertainment and The Stars Group /TSG/ has moved one step closer to completion Tuesday, after the Irish-based company held its Extraordinary General Meeting during which its shareholders approved the deal.
Merger Still On Track
The combination between both companies will create a gaming giant with more than 10 million customers worldwide, and operating well established gaming brands on several continents. The TSG shareholders have their vote scheduled for Friday, April 24, and if the deal gets the green light from them, the merger is on course for completion around June.
Upon completion, the new company will have its headquarters in Dublin, its premium listing on the London Stock Exchange /LSE/ and a secondary listing on Euronext Dublin. The new company will issue securities of an Irish company by means of a plan for arrangement provided for under Canadian law. Accordingly, the settlement procedure will be consistent with UK, Irish and Canadian practice. Shares of the new company will be split 54.64% to 45.36% in favour of Flutter Entertainment shareholders.
In October, when Flutter and TSG announced they reached an agreement to merge businesses, both companies expressed their beliefs the combined group would facilitate maximizing growth in the UK, Australia and Ireland, the jurisdictions that represent their core markets, and would position them to utilize brands and product offerings for their quest in the US.
In the UK, Flutter owns the Paddy Power Betfair exchange, while TSG operates Skybet, after successfully acquiring the local operator back in 2018. Both Flutter and TSG overcame a significant regulatory hurdle there after the Competition and Markets Authority /CMA/, had given “unconditional phase one clearance” to the proposed combination.
Change of Plan for Australia
Originally, both companies had decided to keep the two brands they operate in Australia, Flutter’s Sportsbet and TSG’s BetEasy, but a few days ago it became clear the dual brand strategy was abandoned. A spokesperson from Sportsbet outlined that the ongoing volatility to sporting competitions around the world have led to the adoption of a single brand strategy, where Sportsbet would actually absorb BetEasy. It is not clear whether the new plan will result into a significant number of redundancies at both operators.
In February, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission /ACCC/ approved the mega merger deal that is about to create a gaming operator with roughly one-quarter of the country’s market.
US Market In the Crosshairs
In the US, Flutter operates through FanDuel, the famous daily fantasy sports and sports book operator, while TSG, by striking an agreement with Fox Sports, has launched Fox Bet, the first-of-its kind national media and sports wagering partnership.
The ongoing merger between Flutter and TSG, when completed, will give birth to a gaming company that will have significant presence on the market and the necessary media means to further strengthen its position.