Following this morning’s news that William Hill has sold its entire Australian business division to competitor CrownBet for AUS $300 million (€185 million), Toronto TSX-listed The Stars Group Inc has moved to strengthen its Australian position.
Issuing a market update, Stars Group informs that it will move to increase its equity in CrownBet from 62% to 80%.
On 27 February, Stars Group executed its first play within the Australian online betting market, acquiring a majority 62% stake in CrownBet, from casino and leisure operator Crown Resorts Limited, for AUS $117 million (€95 million).
Aggressively pursuing its new Australian agenda, Stars Group governance informs that it will up its equity in CrownBet and will further pay for the outright acquisition of William Hill Australia assets.
Updating the market, Stars Group will undertake a purchase price for both transactions of approximately US $315 million, of which US $234 million will be payable in cash for William Hill Australia.
Becoming the majority shareholder in CrownBet, Stars Group governance has retained the services of Matt Tripp as CrownBet CEO. Australia veteran Tripp will continue CrownBet’s fast growth market strategy and combined with the integration of William Hill Australia assets.
“These acquisitions will further increase our exposure to the attractive regulated Australian sportsbook market and create a player of scale and clear rival to the top two operators there,” said Rafi Ashkenazi, Chief Executive Officer of The Stars Group.
“With complementary geographic profiles, we expect the combined business to leverage CrownBet’s operating and proprietary technology platform and be well positioned for growth and to navigate the ongoing regulatory and taxation changes in the Australian market.”