US multi-national private equity firm Apax Partners has reached a ‘definitive agreement’ to acquire leading sports data and media distribution firm Genius Sports Group.
A proven PE investor in technology and telecom enterprises (King.com, Orange, Aptos), Apax confirms that it has agreed to acquire Genius Sports outright from ‘founders, management, funds advised by Three Hills Capital Partners (“THCP”) plus other minority shareholders.’
Founded in 2000, Genius Sports is a leading global player in sports data, insights, and media distribution. Through its BetGenius subsidiary, the technology group currently services +150 licensed sportsbooks with betting data, market insights and trading provisions.
‘The acquisition by the Apax Funds will help the company further strengthen its existing operations and provide significant capital to pursue its international expansion, both organically and through strategic acquisitions to better position the company in the rapidly changing sports rights market’ details a joint-statement released by Apax and Genius Sports.
Further to the update, Genius Sports has confirmed that it is currently identifying potential M&A opportunities to support its ongoing corporate expansion.
Apax’s transaction will see Genius Sports continue to operate as an ‘independent entity’, with both parties confirming that the firm’s ‘management team will remain in place, retaining a minority stake in the company.’
Confirming the acquisition Gabriele Cipparrone, Partner at Apax Partners, said: “We have been attracted to the sports data market for some time, having seen live data and technology as key drivers of growth.
Within this sector, Genius Sports Group stood out due to the breadth of its offering, its industry-leading technology, and its excellent reputation as a ‘high integrity’ data provider. The company has grown strongly in recent years and we look forward to working with Mark and his team to continue this growth as the company leverages new technologies to enhance its services.”
Backing Apax as new owners, Mark Locke, Chief Executive Officer of Genius Sports Group, states that his firm has entered a new chapter, targeting accelerated growth within new and established markets, seeking to become the outright leader in global sports data services.
“We are excited to have Apax on board as we look to capitalise on the significant expected growth in the sports data and regulated betting markets, including substantial opportunities in North America.” Locke details
“Our company’s values are founded on integrity, intelligence and innovation so it was critical for us to choose a long-term investment partner that embodies these principles and understands our vision. As we enter the next phase of dynamic growth, Apax is one of the few partners with the expertise, global presence and access to capital to enable us to achieve our goal of becoming the most trusted and most respected sports data technology company in the world.”
Deal stakeholders expect to close the transaction by Q3 2018.