Fanatics zooms in on Tipico M&A to build Rubin’s new betting vision  

Tipico, the leading DACH markets bookmaker, has become a reported target of US apparel and entertainment company Fanatics Inc. 

Yesterday, CNBC reported that dealmakers were at ‘an impasse on price’ as negotiations were ongoing to secure Fanatics’ takeover of Tipico Sportwetten.

Fresh from offloading his 10% stake in Harris Blitzer Sports Entertainment, the US sports fund that owns the pro-sports franchises of Philadelphia 76s and New Jersey Devils – Fanatics owner Michael Rubin is desperate “to enter North America’s gambling arena”.

Cash-rich Rubin has formerly  built his wagering team led by former FanDuel CEO Matt King (CEO of Fanatics Betting) who joined Rubin last May on a mission to create US wagering’s next multi-billion-dollar incumbent.

Spearheaded by King, Rubin’s vision is for Fanatics to build a betting unit for its entertainment division, replicating Fanatics’ success in challenging US sports apparel giants through better online engagement and mass-market brand recognition.

Outlining his intent to establish US wagering’s new challenger brand, Rubin stated that he had sold his 10% stake in Harris Blitzer “to ensure no conflict with Fanatics business plans”.

The target of Tipico will surprise observers. Owned by PE fund CVC Capital, Tipico had been long reported to be in the M&A hunting pack seeking to grow its presence outside of Germany and its neighbouring countries.

Of significance in its pursuit of Tipico, Fanatics will have to contend with a resolution of the betting group’s +1,200 betting shops located across Germany and Austria.

Though seeking to expand outside of DACH markets, Tipico has been conservative in its approach in which the company has established a limited US presence in New Jersey and Colorado.

As it stands, US observers wait for more information on Fanatics’ wagering strategy regarding which states it will choose to proceed in.

Four years late to the PASPA-repeal party, can Fanatics rival US wagering top-three of FanDuel, BetMGM and DraftKings as Rubin desires.  

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