New Vertical Deal with SBTech and Diamond Eagle Transforms DraftKings into Publicly Traded CompanyPublished December 31, 2019 by Lee R
DraftKings makes a huge jump in the two-horse DFS race in the US as the first step in an enhanced global expansion.
Daily Fantasy Sports giant DraftKings has entered into an agreement with special purpose acquisition organisation Diamond Eagle Acquisition Corporation and turnkey sports betting and technology provider SBTech to make DraftKings shares publicly available on the stock market.
Closing in H1 2020, the new entity becomes the US' first home-based vertically-integrated pure-play sports betting and online gaming company.
Diamond Eagle Absorbed
Diamond Eagle to change its name to DraftKings Inc., reincorporate in Nevada and continue its Nasdaq listing under a new ticker symbol.
DraftKings Organisational Strategy
DraftKings co-founder and CEO Jason Robins says the vertical integration of DraftKings’ “leading and trusted brand, deep focus on customer experience and data science expertise” with “SBTech’s highly innovative and proven technology platform” enhances the state-by-state rollout of the DraftKing product prioritising entertainment and engagement to a target market of “global sports fans.”
Robins will continue to lead the organisation, and retain the remainder of of DraftKing's experienced management team of co-founders Paul Liberman and Matt Kalish at the top of the new organisation with officials from SBTech retained for global market and technology expertise.
Investment and Capitalization
Private investment is at $304 million in Class A common stock commitment: another $400 million is currently held in Diamond Eagle’s trust account, with equity market capitalization projected to close at $3.3 billion with over $500 million in unrestricted cash.
Diamond Eagle Leader Speaks
Diamond Eagle Founding Investor Harry E. Sloan expanded on the diverse integration:
“We are pleased to bring DraftKings and SBTech together as one public company...DraftKings is already a premier online fantasy sports and betting platform. With the full integration of SBTech’s technology and innovative product expertise coupled with the right capitalization, DraftKings will be in a great position to continue its ambitious expansion plans in the United States.”
SBTech Chairman's Take
SBTech Chairman Gavin Isaacs called DraftKings and SBTech “two tech-native companies with the customer at their cores,” with SBTech maintaining its core business and B2B focus while joining with DraftKings as a “company with a similar innovation DNA” to “create a unique and differentiated player in global sports betting and online gaming.”
In a market projected to reach $13 billion in annual revenue by 2023, the availability of DraftKings shares on the public market represents a significant opportunity for relevant investors.