- Legal States
Julie Moraine August 5, 2021 3 min read
Penn National Gaming Set for $2bn theScore Acquisition
Penn National Gaming revealed today it entered into a definitive agreement for the acquisition of Score Media and Gaming in a cash plus stock deal worth approximately $2 billion.
50% Cash, 50% Common Stock
Penn announced the agreement for the acquisition of theScore, a leading digital media, sports betting, and technology company, values each theScore share at $17.00 in cash plus 0.2398 shares of Penn’s common stock, equaling a total price of $34.00 per share, which is Penn’s the 5-day volume-weighted average calculated on July 30, 2021.
“We are thrilled to be acquiring theScore, which is the number one sports app in Canada and the third most popular sports app in all of North America.”– Jay Snowden, President, and CEO, Penn National
The $1 billion cash consideration of the transaction, which was unanimously approved by the board of directors of both companies and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2022, will be covered by Penn’s existing cash balances.
“This deal brings together two companies that share a vision for how media and gaming intersect, and we could not be more excited to join the Penn National family.”– John Levy, Chairman, and CEO, theScore
Upon completion, shareholders of Penn and theScore will hold 93% and 7%, respectively, of the stock of the combined entity, while Penn expects the transaction to be leverage neutral to its lease-adjusted net leverage of 4.0x as of June 30, 2021.
“The combination of theScore and Penn National creates a first-of-its-kind vertically integrated media and omni-channel gaming business, which brings together world-class technology, highly engaging sports content, and unparalleled reach.”– Benjie Levy, President, and COO, theScore
Strategic and Financial Benefits
The acquisition will have strategic benefits for Penn, allowing them to bring technology in-house and achieve greater control over the process of product development, reduce costs and enhance customer experience while at the same time eliminate third party-related fees and expenses.
“theScore has developed a state-of-the-art player account management system and is finalizing the development of an in-house managed risk and trading service platform.”– Jay Snowden, President, and CEO, Penn National
Upon completion, Penn will operate theScore as a standalone business, keeping the brand name, its Toronto office, and Levy family leadership to target compelling growth opportunities in Canada, where theScore already has a deep pool of engineering and technology expertise. Penn intends to expand the existing talent pool in Ontario to address the scaling needs of the business.
“We’ve built an innovative, technology-led integrated media and gaming business that has us poised for success across North America, including the highly anticipated upcoming rollout of commercial sports betting in Canada.”– John Levy, Chairman, and CEO, theScore
Creating a scaled sports betting, online gaming, and media business, the acquisition of the 3rd largest sports app in North America and 1st in Canada is expected to provide volumetric savings in terms of content fees, payments, and expenses for other services, among which the elimination of public company costs.
theScore’s integrated media and betting ecosystem proved to drive engagement and retention levels, as users with both media and betting apps generate 88% higher handle per user and place 3x the number of bets compared to those who have only the theScore Bet app only, which Penn believes with drive Barstool revenue through increased cross-promotion.
Positioning itself at the intersection point between sports, media, and technology, Penn will also be able to accelerate its strategy to expand into other verticals, including esports.