The Stars Group seeks fresh funds for $4.7B Skybet deal

TAGs: Sky Betting and Gaming, The Stars Group

The parent company of online poker giant PokerStars has launched a public offering of its common shares to help fund the acquisition of UK online gambling operator Sky Betting & Gaming (Sky Bet).

The Stars Group seeks fresh funds for $4.7B Skybet dealOn Monday, The Stars Group announced that it has filed a supplementary prospectus in North America for a proposed public offering of 15 million common shares. It will be valued “in the context of the market with the price and total size of the offering,” which will be determined at the “time of entering into an underwriting agreement for the offering.”

Aside from the preliminary treasury offering, The Stars Group is also contemplating on making a secondary offering of 6 million common shares.

Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan and Deutsche Bank Securities will act as the joint book-running managers and representatives of the underwriters while Goldman Sachs & Co., Barclays, BMO Capital Markets and Macquarie Capital (USA) Inc. are additional book-running managers, according to the company.

The Stars Group named Blackstone Capital Markets, Cormark Securities (USA) Limited, Canaccord Genuity Corp., Union Gaming Securities, LLC and Investec Bank plc. as co-managers of the offering.

In a statement, the company said that the public offering aims to use the net proceeds from the treasury offering, together with debt financing and cash on hand, to fund the previously announced acquisition of Sky Bet.

“The Offering is not contingent on the closing of the Acquisition or any debt financing. If for any reason the Acquisition does not close, the Company intends to use the net proceeds from the Offering for general corporate purposes,” The Stars Group said.

In April, the Canadian gaming company announced that it had agreed to buy Sky Bet from owners CVC Capital Partners and Sky PLC in a deal worth $4.7 billion.

According to the deal, The Stars Group will have to shell out $3.6 billion in cash while the rest of the payment will be in the form of newly-issued shares. British media company Sky, which has a 20 percent stake in Sky Bet, received around £425 million ($595 million) in cash aside from shares.

The Stars Group CEO Rafi Ashkenazi described the Sky Bet acquisition as a landmark moment in the company’s history, saying the deal would create the world’s largest publicly-listed online gaming firm.


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