Sky Betting & Gaming sold to Canadian giant for $4.7bn

Simon Austin's picture
by Simon Austin

Canadian gambling giant Stars Group has agreed to buy Leeds-headquartered Sky Betting and Gaming in a deal worth $4.7bn (£3.36bn), creating the largest publicly-listed online gaming company in the world.

The Toronto company, which is listed on the Nasdaq and owns PokerStars, said Sky Betting’s Leeds office would remain “a major hub of the enlarged group”.

Sky Betting and Gaming, which is behind brands including Sky Vegas and Sky Casino, employs 1350 staff, with 80% of its operation based in Leeds. Last month the group announced a 47% surge in revenue for the six months to December 28th 2017.

CVC Capital Partners is the company’s majority owner, with a stake of 70%, and will retain a 12% share after the sale. Sky PLC, which also owns Sky News, owns 20% and will retain 3%.

Stars Group has been looking to develop its operation across different regions and recently acquired William Hill Australia as well as a majority share in CrownBet, another Australian firm.

Stars Group reported $1.8bn in revenue last year, after a move towards sports gaming, reducing its reliance on the Poker market.

In 2017, Sky Betting revealed that its customer base had risen by half a million compared with the previous year, and that its revenue had soared by around 38% to £516m.