Better Collective acquires leading US sports betting media platform, Action Network, for 240 mUSD
With the acquisition of Action Network, Better Collective gains clear market leadership within sports betting media and affiliation in the US and now expects to increase its revenues in the US to more than 100 mUSD by 2022.
Sports betting media group, Better Collective, today announces that it has signed an agreement to acquire 100% of the shares in Action Network, Inc. (“Action”) for 240 mUSD (198 mEUR) on a cash and debt free basis. Founded in 2017 and launched in 2018, Action is uniquely positioned in the US market as the premium sports content and product destination for US sports bettors. A trusted source for sports fans, Action’s media platforms provide an enhanced experience for its users through original sports news content, premium insights, deep menus of odds and proprietary betting tools and data. Action’s diverse revenue model includes a rapidly-growing affiliate marketing business focused on customer acquisition for betting operators in the US as well as subscription products, anchored by Action Pro, Action Labs and Fantasy Labs.
Action continues to benefit from the expanding legal sports betting market in the US. In 2021, Action is expected to achieve revenues approaching 40 mUSD, an increase of over 100% year-on-year, while also generating positive operational earnings in 2021. As more states legalize online sports betting, the potential to further deepen and expand Action’s commercial partnerships with large US-based sportsbooks such as BetMGM, DraftKings, FanDuel and PointsBet is significant. Action is headquartered in New York, and has approximately 100 employees.
The purchase price amounts to 240 mUSD (198 mEUR) on a cash and debt free basis and will be settled in a cash payment and a 12 mUSD issuance of new Better Collective (BETCO.ST) shares to Action’s management, key employees and certain other individuals. 10 mUSD of the cash payment will be paid on a deferred basis as settlement of certain existing share options in Action. The number of Better Collective shares issued will be determined by the volume-weighted BETCO.ST share price 5 trading days prior to the date of this announcement. Further, the issued Better Collective shares will be subject to a lock-up of between 6 and 24 months following completion of the transaction.
The cash component of the purchase price will be provided through bank financing.
The acquisition is subject to customary regulatory approvals and is expected to be completed in Q2 2021.
Better Collective in the US
While the US sports betting market has grown rapidly since the repeal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) removed a federal ban on online gambling, only 13 states have legalized online gambling at this point. Many more are expected to follow in the coming years, with the addressable market significantly expanding as a result. Total online sports betting revenues in the US are forecasted to reach 4 bnUSD in 2022 and amount to nearly 40 bnUSD in 2033*.
Following the execution of Better Collective’s acquisition strategy and ongoing investments in the US market, Better Collective’s US business has developed successfully, with high growth and a rapid increase in profitability. The acquisition of Action consolidates Better Collective’s leading position in the affiliate and customer delivery verticals within online sports betting, enabled through a number of strong product platforms. In light of this, and given the continued pace of new states regulating, Better Collective expects the US market to continue growing and its US revenues to surpass 100 mUSD by 2022, with positive and increasing operational earnings.
Action will become an integral part of Better Collective US and will continue to operate as a separate business unit with its current brands, management team, and employees, led by CEO Patrick Keane who will report to Group Management through US CEO, Marc Pedersen. Action will integrate with Better Collective’s current organization where relevant in order to generate efficiencies.
Jesper Søgaard, CEO of Better Collective, says:
“I am thrilled to welcome Action and its employees to Better Collective. This acquisition, which is the largest in Better Collective’s history, gives us a leading position within affiliation in the US and a strong foundation for profiting from the continuous regulation of the US betting market. We add three new, very well positioned US sports media brands to our portfolio and welcome around 100 new colleagues, together representing an invaluable pool of knowledge and expertise on the US sports betting media market. By all accounts, this is a great day for Better Collective.”
Patrick Keane, CEO of Action, says:
“Today marks a great achievement in the history of Action. In just a few years, our team has managed to build a leading sports betting product and media business in the US market, making us attractive to a leading international player. I am thrilled about this outcome for our employees and investors and we look forward to continuing to forge great relationships with our league, media and sportsbook partners. Under Better Collective’s ownership, we become part of a company with many years of experience and all the resources necessary to further grow our position and develop our offering, to ultimately enhance the betting and entertainment experience for sports fans. We gain new colleagues, career paths and perspectives. I’m looking very much forward to the journey ahead. ”
Better Collective will consolidate Action into the Better Collective Group from the time of closing. In connection with the acquisition, Better Collective is updating its Financial Targets for 2021:
- Total group revenue is now expected to exceed 180 mEUR (previously more than 160 mEUR); and
- Operational profit is now expected to exceed 55 mEUR (previously more than 50 mEUR).
Better Collective will share more details in connection with its Q1 2021 earnings report that will be released on May 12, 2021.
The acquisition of Action will bring Better Collective’s estimated debt leverage (Net Interest Bearing Debt/EBITDA) above the company’s financial target of <3.0. Due to Better Collective’s strong operating cash flow, the Board of Directors has decided that for the time being, it is acceptable for the company’s debt leverage to exceed the financial target of 3.0, which target remains in place for 2021. The Board will therefore decide upon any potential changes to the company’s long term capital structure in due course.
Morgan Stanley acted as sole financial advisor, Bruun & Hjejle and GreenbergTraurig acted as legal advisors, and PwC acted as accounting and tax advisor in connection with the acquisition for Better Collective. Nordea Bank will be providing financing to facilitate the closing of the transaction.
Moelis & Company LLC acted as sole financial advisor and Venable LLP acted as legal advisor to Action. Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP acted as advisors to The Chernin Group, the largest shareholder of Action.
Vahe Khalatyan appointed new PartnerMatrix CEO
PartnerMatrix, an award-winning affiliate software provider in the iGaming industry, is proud to announce the appointment of Vahe Khalatyan, previously PartnerMatrix Chief Technical Officer, as its new CEO.
Since day one, Vahe has played a crucial role in the development and success of PartnerMatrix in the last eight years, proving to be a key asset and leader within the team.
His appointment follows the recent departure of previous CEO and co-founder Levon Nikoghosyan who left the business to pursue his own personal projects.
Vahe Khalatyan, CEO of PartnerMatrix, said: “I am excited to take on this role and lead PartnerMatrix into the future. I have been with the company since day one and have developed a deep understanding of its operations and the market.
“In 2023 we will continue to lead the way in iGaming affiliate marketing and focus on new tools and updates for affiliate security, providing a bespoke approach to every client.”
Ebbe Groes, CEO of EveryMatrix, added: “Vahe takes over the position with a wealth of knowledge about the company and the industry and has some exciting, innovative ideas he will implement in the months to come.
“This is a significant step, both for Vahe and PartnerMatrix, and I’m delighted he has stepped up. This is fully deserved and I’m confident his efforts, ideas, and skills will continue to bring great success to the company and the group.”
PartnerMatrix was awarded Best Affiliate Software at the EGR B2B Awards 2022, demonstrating its commitment to providing the best solutions in the industry. Under Vahe’s leadership, the company will continue to innovate and provide exceptional services to its clients in the iGaming sector.
iGB Affiliate London opens in style
The 2023 edition of iGB Affiliate London opened today (9th February) with visitors participating in the biggest edition of the show on record.
The annual event is this year occupying a record 11,800 square metres (net) with the demand for space from both new and existing exhibitors underlining iGB Affiliate London’s status as the flagship event for stakeholders and the ‘not to be missed’ business appointment of the year.
Jay Todd of exhibitors APCW described the show as being “..easily the most significant affiliate event of the year offering tremendous value from education to networking.”
Anthony Telesca, of GPWA said the show was “…an absolute must” and constituted the “..most valuable conference for new business and for strengthening existing relationships.”
A total of 31 brands are making their debut appearance on the show floor, with the newcomers drawn from a total of 18-nations comprising Malta (4 first time exhibitors), UK (4), Ukraine (3), Israel (3), Hungary (2), Australia (2), Cyprus (2) and one each from Bulgaria, Denmark, Poland, Japan, Serbia, Switzerland, Singapore, Hong Kong, Greece, Estonia and Portugal.
Naomi Barton, Portfolio Director responsible for iGB Affiliate London, believes the balance between established long-time supporters and businesses which are new to the show represents a compelling proposition for visitors and delegates. She stated: “Alongside the provision of new business strategies, new tactics, new technologies, new thinking and new trends it’s really significant that we can also provide visitors with access to a host of new exhibitors who want to be a part of the iGB Affiliate London show experience.”
She added: “Attracting a community of new exhibitors who represent nearly one in four (23.8%) of the show floor total, has enabled us to grow iGB Affiliate London to the extent that this year’s show occupies three of the halls at ExCeL London for the first time.
“Joining the community at iGB Affiliate London provides an opportunity to engage with over 5,000 affiliates, advertisers, networks and tech suppliers, as well as network with non-gaming affiliates and find out how what works in other sectors can be deployed in gaming.”
Soft2Bet launches a new affiliate management system ReferOn
A new, feature-filled affiliate management system powered by the platform provider
Soft2Bet, a top-notch online platform provider has recently announced that it has gone live with top of the art affiliate management system, ReferOn.
This boasts a broad array of affiliate marketing services that are key to the partners they assist. ReferOn’s system has the ability to manage large networks of companies in one comprehensive system. Flexible and adaptable in accordance with the individual needs of each affiliate.
ReferOn offers the most advanced features including an effective rewarding engine which offers rewards at the individual, more customised level, making its management much easier for admin users. It also keeps track of the payments and invoices for all accounts, in a quick and efficient manner. This is also true for the data and statistics that are accumulated.
The affiliate management system offers organised reporting on numerous levels allowing for full control over your data, in addition, you can customize what data you choose to share with your partners. Grouping variations can also be calculated according to brand, company, campaign and even geo levels through ReferOn. Reporting is also made extremely easy and allows for toggled groups and effective date breakdowns. ReferOn also makes use of multiple widgets, filters and statistics at every level which make the data accessible for the admin to explore and make informed decisions.
When using ReferOn, brands can be integrated into the system seamlessly and your support and account management are all under one roof. The system can connect the data points to your data provider. ReferOn dashboards are now clearer and easier to view and access, allowing for much more flexibility for users.
Accounts with multiple affiliate logins within other competitive software enable statistics to be grouped at a ‘master’ level. This makes payments and data management much simpler.
Vladyslav Bondarenaiko, Product Manager at Referon said: “ReferOn‘s highly-advanced features change the way we view affiliates and admin needs through. Seeing as this system is not only for internal usage, this creates an additional revenue stream for the business and allows a more streamlined process of integration and access.”
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