March 15, 2024 3 min read


News International Could Acquire Racing Post

News International publisher has announced it is carrying negotiations for a potential takeover of Racing Post, following its plans to advance in the online betting and gaming world

News International, the publisher of The Sun and The Times, is currently busy negotiating the potential acquisition of Racing Post, UK’s “horse racing bible” that belongs to the Spotlight Sports Group (SSG).

The latter is a betting media, content, and data provider under the ownership of Exponent, a private equity fund.

The turnover would perfectly align with News International’s long-term goal to advance even further into the complex world of gaming and online sports betting. 

Early £300M Estimate, Too High

According to data obtained by Gambing&Co, it would appear that the original estimate for Racing Post’s value at close to £300 million ($382 million) did not sound very appealing to News International. 

While the publisher is expected to ink an acquisition deal, the initial estimate figure is over the threshold it is willing to pay. 

An asset acquisition cost below £200 million ($255 million) might be more on Racing Post’s liking.

The media group has already had a fair share of attempts to enter the UK online betting universe in the last years. One of the most important attempts was the launch of the SunBets online platform together with Tabcorp in 2016

The website was shut down in 2018 and the Australian giant had to pay close to £40 million ($51 million) in compensation to News International. 

The publisher continues to run several slot and bingo platforms under the Sun brand. However, in terms of publishing, it recorded more success with its affiliate model connected to its Sun Racing and Dream Team fantasy football sites.

Exponent has been continuously extending its reach and that of Spotlight by putting the focus on digital output and making sure to change the Post into a super-affiliate.

Spotlight is also the owner of affiliate websites of Free Super Tips, MyRacing, the US-focused Pickswise, and data provider Superfeed.

Racing Post’s Sale Would Fit into Exponent’s Plans to Sell SSG

Provided its plans to sell the Racing Post will work out, they would help Exponent see its broader plan to sell SSG come to light. 

Three years ago, news emerged regarding Exponent hiring investment bank PJT Partners to tackle a £500 million ($637.8 million) sale of the group. 

Then, super-affiliate Better Collective was the frontrunner candidate for the takeover. However, the transaction never went into effect.

In February 2022, SSG’s Racing Post announced its interactive betting shop display went through an important makeover based on a more intuitive interface that would improve customer experience. 

After finishing her master's in publishing and writing, Melanie began her career as an online editor for a large gaming blog and has now transitioned over towards the iGaming industry. She helps to ensure that our news pieces are written to the highest standard possible under the guidance of senior management.

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