Stars Group snaps up CVC-owned Sky Bet for $4.7 bln: Reuters

Canadian gaming company The Stars Group Inc said on Saturday it had agreed to buy Sky Betting and Gaming from owners European private equity firm CVC Capital Partners and Sky Plc, in a deal worth US$4.7 billion.

It had been expected that CVC, 80 percent owner of the online betting site Sky Bet, would list the company publicly. In February, Reuters reported that CVC had picked investment banks to lead an initial public offering.

But on Saturday, The Stars Group announced a deal that it said would create the world’s largest publicly-listed online gaming business.

“The acquisition of Sky Betting and Gaming is a landmark moment in The Stars Group’s history,” its chief executive officer Rafi Ashkenazi said.

The deal comprises US$3.6 billion in cash and the rest in newly-issued shares, the Toronto-based group said.

British media company Sky said it would receive around 425 million pounds (US$595 million) in cash, as well as shares worth around 145 million pounds, in exchange for its 20 percent stake in Sky Bet.

Update: CVC acquired its controlling interest in Leeds, U.K.-based Sky Betting and Gaming from Sky in March 2015.

The Stars Group changed its named from Amaya Inc last year. The company owns a variety of gaming brands, such as PokerStars, PokerStars Casino, BetStars, Full Tilt and the PokerStars Live brands.

(Reporting by Andy Bruce; Editing by Ros Russell)

(This story has been edited by Kirk Falconer, editor of PE Hub Canada)

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