(PRESS RELEASE) — The Stars Group Inc. announced today that it has acquired a 62% equity interest in CrownBet Holdings Pty Limited for an aggregate amount of approximately $117.7 million. Unless otherwise noted, all dollar amounts are in U.S. dollars.
CrownBet, which launched in 2014 in Australia, the world’s second largest regulated sports betting market, is one of Australia’s fastest growing online sportsbooks with unaudited annual revenues growing from approximately AU$76.5 million in 2015 to approximately AU$204.0 million in 2017 and unaudited EBITDA turning positive for the first time in 2017 at approximately AU$7.9 million for the year.
“We are excited to enter the regulated Australian sportsbook market with CrownBet,” said Rafi Ashkenazi, Chief Executive Officer of The Stars Group. “CrownBet has become one of the fastest-growing online sportsbooks in Australia through its strong management team, proprietary technology, mobile app, unique partnerships and market-leading loyalty program.”
The Stars Group acquired the 62% interest in CrownBet from Crown Resorts Limited in an all-cash transaction using cash on The Stars Group’s balance sheet. The Stars Group partnered with the other shareholders of CrownBet, including the CrownBet management team led by founder and Chief Executive Officer, Matthew Tripp, to complete the purchase and will continue to work directly with Mr. Tripp, who will remain in his position and continue to operate the business in Australia. Under the transaction agreements, The Stars Group is also entitled to appoint a majority of the directors on the board of directors of CrownBet.
The Northern Territory Racing Commission has approved the transaction subject to The Stars Group satisfying certain standard conditions.