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Posted on Mon, Dec 23, 2019

DraftKings is going public with a triple-merger deal and a $3.3 billion valuation
Posted by Veri.bet
Posted on Mon, Dec 23, 2019

Sports betting platform DraftKings plans to go public in the first half of 2020 after merging with acquisition company Diamond Eagle, according to a Monday statement.

The deal also includes betting technology company SBTech, leading the merger to form the only vertically integrated US sports betting company, DraftKings said. The combined firm is expected to boast a $3.3 billion market cap, including more than $300 million in new funding from Capital Research and Management, Wellington Management, and Franklin Templeton.

"DraftKings is already a premier online fantasy sports and betting platform," Diamond Eagle founding investor Harry Sloan said in the statement. "With the full integration of SBTech's technology and innovative product expertise coupled with the right capitalization, DraftKings will be in a great position to continue its ambitious expansion plans in the United States."

The company first made waves with its daily fantasy football product and later expanded into a range of betting services. DraftKings' fantasy sports service holds about 60% market share between 43 states and eight international markets, according to the statement.

Sports gambling is legal in 11 states, with several others mulling legislation.

DraftKings eyed a merger with betting rival FanDuel in 2016 before the deal was curbed by antitrust regulators. FanDuel was later acquired by Irish betting giant Paddy Power Betfair in 2018.

DraftKings co-founder and CEO Jason Robins will continue to helm the company after its public debut alongside co-founders Paul Liberman and Matt Kalish. SBTech's management team will also remain with the merged company.

The new year is already ramping up to be fairly turbulent for firms planning initial public offerings. The second half of 2019 saw giants like Uber and Peloton tumble after their market debuts, and WeWork's highly anticipated IPO was canceled as public markets balked at the firm's lofty valuation and controversial management.

The public-debut disappointments and uncertainty around the 2020 presidential election could lead some firms to delay their IPOs as far out as November, according to Previn Waas, leader of Deloitte's IPO Center of Excellence. Companies will either want to "get out by June" or wait through the election to best time markets, the partner said.

"July is the European holiday, and August-to-October is too close to November and the election. The political climate certainly has an impact and they're certainly trying to time that," Waas said.

Goldman Sachs will serve as Diamond Eagle's financial adviser in the deal. Rain Group is serving as DraftKings' financial adviser. Stifel is acting as financial adviser for SBTech.

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