Endeavor Group to Acquire OpenBet for $800 Million

Endeavor Openbet

  • UFC owners Endeavor Group will acquire sports betting company OpenBet.
  • The deal was originally valued at $1.2 billion last September is now priced at $800 million.
  • Endeavor plans to combined OpenBet with its IMG Arena sports betting unit.

UFC owners Endeavor Group Holdings Inc. will acquire sports betting business OpenBet for $800 million. This was announced by OpenBet owners Light & Wonder Inc. on Thursday.

The transaction, which originally had a target completion date of June 30, 2022, could run into the fall, according to the filing.

OpenBet Will Combine With IMG Arena

The deal comes at a time when the online gambling industry is seeing takeovers and acquisitions as more states in the U.S. continue to legalize sports betting since the U.S. Supreme Court repealed the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act in 2018.

Under the purchase, OpenBet’s betting tech will combine with IMG Arena’s data and video feeds. As the sports betting brand of Endeavor. Currently, IMG Arena works with more than 400 sportsbook brands in providing live streaming and on-demand virtual sports products for customers not just in the UFC but also in the PGA Tour, MLS, Wimbledon, and Ryder Cup.

Online sports betting boomed during the start of the COVID-19 pandemic when retail bet shops were closed and customers turned to internet sports betting to place bets. The pandemic restrictions have been lifted but bettors now enjoy making wagers from the comfort of their home desktop computers or mobile devices.

Original Selling Price Was $1.2 Billion

Last September, Endeavor announced that it would purchase OpenBet for $1.2 billion, with $1 billion to be paid in cash and $200 million in Endeavor shares. However, the selling price has been reduced by $400 million. The new price will be paid with cash amounting to $750 million and 2.3 million Endeavor shares worth $50 million.

Although the reason for the price drop was not revealed in the filing, the deteriorating market conditions and falling stocks have likely altered the valuation of the deal. Media stocks have also suffered along with the broader markets due to the rising inflation, high-interest rates, and fear of recession.

Light & Wonder has fallen 45% since last year’s announcement while Endeavor shares have dropped 28% during that span. Endeavor shares closed at $20.56 on Thursday, which is way down from a high of $35 last year. Meanwhile,

Shane Acedera / Author

Shane grew up watching the Magic & Bird rivalry but ended up rooting for Detroit's Bad Boys team in the 1990s NBA. He loves to tell sports stories and has been writing about sports since high school. When Shane isn't busy jotting down his thoughts, he's just chillin' at home with his wife Rocelle and their two dogs named Horry and Fisher. He recently added a new family member, adopting a handsome retired K-9 named Ranger.

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