British private equity firm Apax Partners has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire a majority stake in sports data technology provider Genius Sports Group.

Genius Sports said that the acquisition will help the company further strengthen its existing operations and provide significant capital to pursue its international expansion.

This includes both organic growth and strategic acquisitions to better position the supplier in the rapidly changing sports rights market.

Funds advised by London-based Apax Partners have acquired the business from the company’s founders and management, funds advised by Three Hills Capital Partners (THCP), and other minority shareholders. Financial terms were not disclosed, with the sale is expected to close during the third quarter.

Under the terms of the acquisition, Genius Sports’ management team will remain in place and retain a minority stake in the company.

“We are excited to have Apax on board as we look to capitalise on the significant expected growth in the sports data and regulated betting markets, including substantial opportunities in North America,” said Genius Sports chief executive Mark Locke. “Our company’s values are founded on integrity, intelligence and innovation so it was critical for us to choose a long-term investment partner that embodies these principles and understands our vision.

“As we enter the next phase of dynamic growth, Apax is one of the few partners with the expertise, global presence and access to capital to enable us to achieve our goal of becoming the most trusted and most respected sports data technology company in the world.”

Headquartered in London, Genius Sports was founded in 2000 with its software now used by over 300 sporting bodies around the world to collect and distribute in-game statistics.

The supplier also offers a full suite of services to enable sports leagues such as the Major League Baseball, the English Premier League and the PGA Tour to fight betting-related corruption, while its Betgenius sports betting technology is also used by over 150 licensed sportsbook operators in regulated markets around the world.

“We have been attracted to the sports data market for some time, having seen live data and technology as key drivers of growth,” said Gabriele Cipparrone, partner at Apax Partners. “Within this sector, Genius Sports Group stood out due to the breadth of its offering, its industry-leading technology, and its excellent reputation as a ‘high integrity’ data provider.

“The company has grown strongly in recent years and we look forward to working with Mark and his team to continue this growth as the company leverages new technologies to enhance its services.”

The transaction follows a prior investment (including £10m in debt and a 5 per cent stake) from THCP in Genius Sports in October 2015 that enabled the business to accelerate its growth.


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