Toronto-listed gaming operator The Stars Group has acquired a 62 per cent stake in Australian online sportsbook operator CrownBet.

The Stars Group acquired its equity interest in the operator for an aggregate amount of USD$117.7m in an all-cash transaction, funded from cash in hand.

The transaction was completed with a consortium of CrownBet's shareholders, including chief executive Matthew Tripp.

The shareholder consortium led by Tripp was announced as the acquirer of CrownBet in late 2017, although The Stars Group's involvement was not revealed at the time.

Both Paddy Power and William Hill had previously shown interest in acquiring the business.

Tripp will remain chief executive of CrownBet under its new ownership, with The Stars Group appointing a majority of the directors to the company's new board.

"We are excited to enter the regulated Australian sportsbook market with CrownBet," The Stars Group chief executive Rafi Ashkenazi commented.

"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."

CrownBet was launched in 2014 and has since established itself as one of Australia's fastest-growing online sportsbooks. Unaudited annual revenue grew from AUD$76.5m in 2015 to $204.0m in 2017. The company also generated its first positive EBITDA result in 2017, at $7.9m for the year.

The deal has been approved by the Northern Territory Racing Commission, subject to The Stars Group satisfying certain standard conditions.

Shares in The Stars Group Inc (TOR:TSGI) closed up 0.30 per cent at CAD$33.96 per share in Toronto on Monday.

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