Industry Reports

CPPIB to Acquire Stake in International Sports Betting Data Operator Sportradar

The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) revealed that it is preparing to acquire a stake of between 35% and 39% in Sportradar, an international gambling operator based in Switzerland, which currently distributes data from a number of professional sports leagues for betting purposes.

In order to make the investment, the CPPIB has joined forces with TCV of Menlo Park, California, but the exact terms and the final prize of the acquisition have not been disclosed yet. According to information released by Sportradar, undisclosed minority stakeholders have also disposed of their shares as part of the deal. Currently, some of the minority shareholders in the Switzerland-based operator include the former NBA star Michael Jordan, the Dallas Mavericks’ owner Mark Cuban and Ted Leonsis, owner of Washington Capitals.

Still, considering the global gambling company’s estimated value of approximately US$2.4 billion, including equity and debt owned, the share which CPPIB would hold in the company is expected to amount to about US$936 million. Having this in mind, the Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board is set to own approximately 40% of the company, which has revealed a 40% revenue increase on an annual basis for the time being.

The CPPIB and TCV will be acquiring their interest in the operator from EQT, a private equity firm, as well as from certain minority shareholders, as mentioned above.

The Deal Follows US Supreme Court’s Ruling to Lift Sports Betting Ban

At the time when the announcement was made, the boss of the direct private equity investment at CPPIB, Ryan Selwood, explained that a strong growth is marked in the sports data market thanks to the increasing fan engagement, new sports betting markets and also the increased spending on digital sports content.

On the other hand, the Chief Executive Officer of Sportradar, Carsten Koerl, shared that two new investors both of which have a strong presence in North America, would be great for the global gambling operator as the deal would allow the company to proceed with its long-desired expansion in the US which has recently seen the elimination of the federal ban on sports betting operations.

Sportradar has already been working with the National Hockey League (NHL) and the National Basketball Association (NBA) in a deal that allows it to distribute data, and with Major League Baseball (MLB) in a deal that allows it to distribute video and audio content to sports betting companies. According to information provided by the Switzerland-based company, it distributes 400,000 live sporting events on an annual basis, while it also tabulates data on behalf of 60 different leagues worldwide.

The company also works in collaboration with the National Football League (NFL) and the NASCAR auto racing circuit. It is also a partner with UEFA and FIFA.

The deal comes after the US Supreme Court decided to lift the federal ban on sports betting in May 2018, opening the sports betting market of the country and leaving the separate states to make decisions on their own whether to expand their sports betting sectors or not.