M&A News

The Stars Group has announced the completion of its acquisition of an increased stake in Australian betting operator CrownBet, which has in turn completed its acquisition of William Hill's Australian business.

The Stars Group entered into an agreement to acquire an additional 18 per cent stake in CrownBet last month, taking its ownership of the business to 80 per cent.

This followed the completion of CrownBet's acquisition of William Hill Australia on Monday (March 23rd), after the deal was approved by Australia's Foreign Investment Review Board and the Northern Territory Racing Commission.

As previously announced, The Stars Group has paid an aggregate purchase price of AUD$315m for CrownBet, $234m of which was payable in cash to finance the William Hill Australia acquisition.

The Stars Group initially backed a consortium led by CrownBet chief executive Matthew Tripp to acquire the business from Crown Resorts, through which it agreed to support the bid for William Hill Australia. This saw it secure a controlling stake of 62 per cent in CrownBet.

The company plans to create an operator of scale that can rival Australia's leading sports betting providers, leveraging the CrownBet brand and management team to revitalise the William Hill Australia business.

The Stars Group has completed the deal just days after announcing its USD$4.7bn acquisition of Sky Betting and Gaming from CVC Capital Partners and UK broadcaster Sky.

Shares in The Stars Group Inc (TSX:TSGI) closed in Toronto Tuesday down 6.11 per cent at CAD$40.39 per share, having set a new 52-week high of $43.03 per share on Monday.