Endeavor first revealed its intention to purchase sports betting firm OpenBet in September 2021. It was originally penned as a $1.2 billion deal, put in place with the vision of broadening and bolstering Endeavor’s sports betting strategy. Now, little more than a year later, the deal has finally wrapped up, but owing to a devaluation along the way, the acquisition of OpenBet has cost Endeavor $800 million.
Following the successful acquisition, Endeavor’s betting branch of the business has been strengthened immeasurably. Before OpenBet came along, Endeavor’s sports betting strategy was focused around IMG Arena, a subsidiary that provides data and live video feeds to almost 500 sportsbook platforms and brands. At this point, the two brands will unite under the Endeavor banner, with OpenBet coming into the fold as an industry-leading content, platform, and service provider.
Endeavor to Grow
In 2021, it was estimated that Endeavor as a firm boasted a net worth of approximately $10 billion. At the heart of this OpenBet acquisition is a plan to further grow the organisation, taking full advantage of the rapidly growing sports betting industry. In a statement, Ariel Emanuel, the CEO of Endeavor, spoke highly of the acquisition:
‘The addition of OpenBet to our sports betting portfolio will enable us to further capitalize on the massive tailwinds in the fast-evolving sports betting ecosystem and lead the way in defining the future of sports betting entertainment. In combination with our IMG ARENA sports data and content business, we’ll look to create and unlock meaningful value for our rights holder and sportsbook customers, helping deliver the most compelling offerings for sports fans globally.’
This deal will bring OpenBet’s portfolio under the Endeavor flag, which consists of brands such as FanDuel, DraftKings, and SkyBet. As a one-stop technology shop, OpenBet provides these customers with top-tier betting engine technology, as well as business management tools and front-end solutions. When OpenBet is combined with the broadcasting and data-driven power of IMG Arena, Endeavor will boast true end-to-end technological capabilities in the industry.
OpenBet’s CEO, Jordan Levin, also took the time to issue a statement regarding the acquisition:
‘We’ve been awaiting this day when we can bring together everything OpenBet has to offer with the depth of expertise and relationships that Endeavor and IMG bring to the table. Our focus remains on providing our customers with the most innovative solutions to give their fans the ultimate sports betting complement to live sports. We couldn’t be more excited to lean into the Endeavor network to accelerate and amplify that mission.’
Following the devaluation of the deal, OpenBet’s parent firm, Light & Wonder, Inc, will receive a $750 million cash sum and the remainder paid out in Class A common stock shares in Endeavor.