By Jen Booton / July 10, 2018
3 min read
Sportradar, the European data giant that has deals with the NBA and other professional sports leagues, has sold a stake valued at $2.4 billion to two new investors in North America.
The deal is meant to aid the company as it expands in the U.S. and Canada, and leverages relaxed wagering rules in the U.S., according to Sportradar.
The company’s two new strategic partners—Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) and Silicon Valley-based growth private equity firm TCV—will acquire a stake in Sportradar valued at €2.1 billion (roughly $2.4 billion) from private equity firm EQT and certain minority shareholders. EQT has agreed to reinvest a portion of its sale proceeds back into Sportradar. Carsten Koerl, Sportradar’s founder and chief executive, will retain his entire ownership stake and continue to lead the company.
“Having two new investors with a strong North American footprint is ideal given our increasing focus and expanding operations in the U.S.,” Koerl said in a statement. “Sportradar will continue to develop best-in-class, integrity and technology driven services as we expand into new market segments, and we’re excited to have such a strong team behind us.”
Sportradar is a real-time sports data giant that has had a robust gambling operation in Europe for several years. It serves as the official partner of the NBA, NFL, NHL and NASCAR as well as FIFA and UEFA, monitoring and delivering insights from more than 400,000 matches annually across 60 sports. It is currently the only provider working with U.S. sports leagues in an official capacity to distribute sports data (NBA and NHL) and audiovisual content (MLB) around the world for betting purposes. The company also provides integrity services that help leagues identify and manage abnormal gambling patterns.
“The sports data market, particularly real-time data, is a compelling long-term investment opportunity, with strong growth driven by rising fan engagement, opening of new markets and increasing spend on digital sports content globally,” said Ryan Selwood, head of direct private equity at CPPIB.
The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year, pending regulatory approvals. Other Sportradar investors include Revolution Growth, Ted Leonsis, Michael Jordan, and Mark Cuban.
In the two months since the U.S. Supreme Court paved the way for state-by-state legalization of sports gambling, a number of mergers, acquisitions and investments that are intended to help companies expand their footprint in sports betting have been announced.
In May, Paddy Power Betfair, one of the most established European betting houses, paid $158 million for a 61 percent stake in FanDuel, with plans to up its stake to 80 percent in three years and have full ownership by 2023. Last month, Sportradar teamed up with U.K.-based betting house Sportech to deliver commercial sports betting solutions in the U.S. that combine Sportradar’s data tools with Sportech’s betting technology and terminals.
Expect more such deals to occur in the coming years, where companies with established European betting operations look to take advantage of the sports betting opportunity in the U.S. by striking deals and strategic partnerships with established companies and investors in North America.