Flutter Entertainment said it would officially complete the acquisition of The Stars Group on May 5, following shareholder approval of the deal intended to create the world’s biggest online gaming company worth $12 billion.
Flutter-Stars $12 Billion Merger Scheduled For Completion On May 5
Diverse Global Presence
Since October 2019 when Flutter agreed to buy the PokerStars operator for $6 billion, the merger has been subject to numerous approvals from antitrust authorities and gaming control bodies of different jurisdictions. The green light from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) was received in February 2020.
Peter Jackson, Group Chief Executive, commented:
“I am delighted to confirm that our transformational combination with The Stars Group will complete on 5 May. The enlarged Group brings together exceptional brands, products and businesses, a hugely talented and experienced team, and a diverse global presence. The strength of our combined portfolio of assets means that we approach the future with confidence in these uncertain times.
The expanded Flutter…
…will continue to take advantage of a federal operating model, initially featuring five reporting segments with Australia (including Sportsbet and BetEasy) remaining a separate sector. The other four segments will be represented by the current non-US TSG, Paddy Power/Betfair/Adjarabet, Sky Betting and Gaming, and all US (FanDuel, TVG plus TSG) operations respectively.
Driving A Race To The Top
In place since the very beginning of 2018, the aforementioned federal model proved to be success ensuring significant autonomy of the local teams in terms of making decisions related to both online and land-based markets, at the same time giving them access to the Group’s substantial resources.
However, some changes…
… to the operating structure are going to be performed as a part of the company’s long-term strategy, with a transition to 4-divisional management being one of the major goals. This shift will be made in two steps that provide for the merger of the current TSG International operations with PPB followed by the move of Paddy Power into a new UK & Ireland division along with Sky Betting and Gaming.
Speaking of future activities, Peter Jackson highlighted the important role of Rafi Ashkenazi:
“As we approach a new era for the enlarged Flutter organisation, I wish to take this opportunity to acknowledge the huge contribution of Rafi Ashkenazi in creating the exceptional business that The Stars Group is today.
He has been instrumental in transforming TSG from a single product operator to a diverse global leader with multiple product offerings. I know that his experience and expertise will bring valuable perspective to our Board as we bring our two businesses together.”
Jackson also confirmed the determination of the Group to promote responsible gaming: “Both businesses have a strong legacy of leadership when it comes to responsible gambling. As a combination, we are determined to deliver on our commitment to drive a race to the top when it comes to responsible gambling best practice across the sector.“
Source: “Stars Group transaction update“. Flutter. April 30, 2020.