The Fanatics logo is seen on the dugout wall before the game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Milwaukee Brewers at PNC Park on July 3, 2022 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
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Fanatics has agreed to acquire the US operations of PointsBet, marking the sports giant’s first major step into US sports betting.
The deal is worth about $150 million in cash. The companies announced the deal Sunday night shortly after CNBC reported that an agreement had been reached.
“Fanatics and PointsBet are pleased to enter into an agreement for Fanatics Betting and Gaming to acquire PointsBet’s US operations,” said the companies in a joint statement. “While there are still several steps in the process to complete the acquisition, both parties are confident in the outcome. Fanatics Betting and Gaming and PointsBet will provide further details of the proposed deal and timely updates in the coming weeks.”
Fanatics will gain access to at least 15 states with the deal, according to people familiar with the deal who declined to be named because the discussions were private. Fanatics expects to have access to the majority of states where PointsBet operates by the start of the NFL season, according to one of the people.
PointsBet, whose shares are traded in Australia, is expected to hold a shareholder vote on the deal at the end of June. Only PointsBet’s US assets are part of the deal. Fanatics will plan to fund some of the remaining cash flow from PointsBet, which has had to spend heavily on marketing to compete with bigger rivals DraftKings and FanDuel.
PointsBet predicts a loss of between $77 million and $82 million for the second half. Citing “very challenging” market conditions, the company said Sunday that it would need to raise additional capital at a “significant discount to recent market prices” in the near term if the Fanatics deal somehow falls apart.
NBCUniversal will receive revenue from its previous agreement with PointsBet and will no longer have an equity stake, according to PointsBet. NBC acquired a 4.9% stake in PointsBet in 2020.
Fanatics has been in talks with a number of different sports betting companies during the last year as it has planned its way forward in mobile gaming.
“This is a 10-year journey,” Matt King, CEO of Fanatics Betting, said at the SBC conference earlier this month. “We’re going to go very methodically through that 10-year journey. And by doing that and taking that approach, it allows you to be a little more deliberate in your decisions. You can kind of slow down, a little slower today, in order to able to move quickly later.”
Fanatics is a sports platform company with a private valuation of $31 billion. The company has forecast a turnover of 8 billion dollars by 2023.
Fanatics owns retail assets, a sports trading card business and is building a sports betting division. The company acquired the legendary trading card company Topps for 500 million dollars last year.
Disclosure: NBCUniversal is the parent company of NBC Sports and CNBC.