Sunday 21 July 2019

Paddy Power 'held talks' with PokerStars' owner

 

Paddy Power Betfair and Toronto-based Stars Group held merger talks “late last year”, the UK’s ‘Sunday Times’ reported. Photo: PA
Paddy Power Betfair and Toronto-based Stars Group held merger talks “late last year”, the UK’s ‘Sunday Times’ reported. Photo: PA

Ben Stupples

Paddy Power Betfair reportedly held merger talks "late last year" with Stars Group that would have led to a combined betting business worth more than $10bn (€8.7bn).

Toronto-based Stars Group's online and mobile betting brands include PokerStars, Sky Betting and Full Tilt.

Its shares are listed in Toronto and on the New York Nasdaq.

The two companies held merger talks "late last year", the UK's 'Sunday Times' reported, without saying where it got the information.

A tie-up between the companies would create a betting giant worth more than $10bn, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That would dwarf rivals GVC and William Hill.

Any deal would "almost certainly" face lawmakers' scrutiny, the 'Sunday Times' said.

The gambling industry has already seen substantial merger activity in recent years, with GVC making a string of purchases including Ladbrokes Coral in March and a series of websites including Foxy Bingo and PartyPoker before then.

Dublin-based Paddy Power merged with UK rival Betfair four years ago.

A series of betting restrictions introduced by the British government has hurt gaming companies operating in the country, making them takeover targets.

Shares in London-based William Hill have fallen by about 45pc in the past year.

Paddy Power and Toronto-based Stars Group didn't respond to requests for comment. (Bloomberg)

Irish Independent

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