Betway’s platform enables betting on popular sporting events around the world, including Britain’s Premier League football tournament. — Reuters pic
Betway’s platform enables betting on popular sporting events around the world, including Britain’s Premier League football tournament. — Reuters pic

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NEW YORK, April 25 — Super Group, the parent company of online bookmaker Betway, is nearing a deal to go public through a merger with blank-check acquisition firm Sports Entertainment Acquisition Corp at a valuation of about US$5.1 billion (RM21 billion), people familiar with the matter said on Saturday.

The deal comes as Betway, which has its roots in Europe, expands in the United States. Betway has agreed to acquire Digital Gaming Corp, tapping the online sports betting and gaming market in 10 US states, according to the sources.

Shareholders accounting for more than two-thirds of Super Group’s equity will maintain their stakes under the deal, the sources said. Sports Entertainment’s executive chairman, Eric Grubman, a former National Football League (NFL) executive, will become chairman of Super Group, and Sports Entertainment CEO John Collins, a former National Hockey League chief operating officer, will join Super Group’s board, the sources added.

The sources requested anonymity because the deal negotiations are confidential.

SPACs, such as Sports Entertainment, are shell companies that raise funds in an initial public offering with the aim of merging with a private company, which becomes public as result, providing an alternative to traditional IPOs.

SPAC dealmaking tailed off in recent weeks following a record start to 2021 after US regulators changed the accounting requirements for them.

Betway’s platform enables betting on popular sporting events around the world, including Britain’s Premier League football tournament and the cricket tournament Indian Premier League. It has partnerships with US basketball teams such as the Chicago Bulls, Golden State Warriors, Brooklyn Nets and Los Angeles Clippers, and English football teams such as West Ham United.

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Betway earlier this year entered the US betting market, which has been growing rapidly since a ban on sports betting was lifted in 2018.

Super Group also owns Spin, a multi-brand online casino offering. It counts the likes of former cricketer Kevin Pietersen and former jockey Katie Walsh among its ambassadors.

Sports Entertainment Acquisition completed its IPO in New York in October, raising US$400 million. It is backed by Timothy Goodell, general counsel of US oil producer Hess Corp and brother of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, and an affiliate of investment bank PJT Partners Inc. — Reuters



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