Better Collective cools Spotlight Sports M&A speculation

Better Collective AS has branded UK media reports as ‘highly speculative‘ of its’ front runner interest’ in acquiring Spotlight Sports Group for £500 million.

This weekend, The Sunday Times reported that private equity fund Exponent LLP, the majority investor of Spotlight Sports since 2016, had placed its racing and betting media asset ‘under starters orders‘  for a sale to be executed in the coming months. 

Betting media powerhouse Better Collective had been disclosed as the odds-on-favourite to acquire Spotlight Sports, the publisher of ‘horseracing bible’ the Racing Post. 

Spotlight Sports was formed in 2020, following the reorganisation of Racing Post that was converged with its business subsidiaries of Apsley (affiliate marketing), ICS Digital (media services) and ANZ Bloodstock (stud rights).

Rumours of a potential sale of Spotlight Sports had begun to circulate in late 2021 as Exponent revealed to City news sources that it was exploring options to ‘cash in on the surge for betting content and data’. 

Exponent has hired NYSE-listed private investment bank PJT Partners to lead the deal, in which its targets £500 million for the sale of Spotlight Sports and its related inventory. 

Should a deal be executed, Better Collective would become the fifth owner of the Racing Post following its launch in 1986 by the Al Maktoum Royal Family of Dubai, and its subsequent sales to UK publisher Trinity Mirror Group, Dublin investment fund FL Partners and Exponent as current owners

Better Collective would further boost its UK betting media portfolio by acquiring the assets of My RacingFree Super Tips and US sports betting community Pickswise.com

Responding to developments, Better Collective told SBC – “The article is highly speculative and given our defined M&A-strategy and track record we are not surprised to be mentioned when there are rumours of sales processes in the industry. However, we do not want to comment or join in speculations.”

Updating investors during Q1 trading, CEO and Co-founder Jesper Søgaard underlined Better Collective’s intent on becoming the first publisher to break the $100 million revenue mark for North American betting media services. 

Declaring its high target, in March Better Collective acquired the Canada Sports Betting (CSB) network for €22 million – expanding its existing North American portfolio of The Action Network, Roto Grinders, Scores-&-Odds and VegasInsider that currently operates across sixteen US states.

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