Apollo Global Management is still interested in expanding its foothold in the betting and gaming industry, according to reports from CNBC.
The US business news outlet has stated that Apollo is in ‘preliminary discussions’ to merge its Yahoo Sports holding – the investment firm that purchased Yahoo last year – with sports betting companies, notably PointsBet.
According to CNBC’s sources, should the merger go ahead, it would result in a spinoff of Yahoo Sports with a new sports betting link and focus, although it would continue to operate under the Yahoo brand.
However, the outlet has been unable to secure comment from Yahoo, Apollo or PointsBet, and its sources have indicated that Yahoo may not ultimately pursue a merger, since discussions are only in the early stages.
Should Apollo pursue the reported merger, it would represent the private equity fund’s first foray into the betting and gaming space since the bidding battle for William Hill and the subsequent contest for its non-US assets.
The company initially competed against Nevada-based entertainment giant Caesars Entertainment, which was ultimately successful in acquiring the British bookmaker for £2.9 billion – or £2.72 per share – before embarking on a sell-off of its European and South American divisions.
Apollo was also unsuccessful in its pursuit of Hills’ non-US units, which were ultimately purchased by 888 Holdings, which secured the remainder of William Hill’s online and retail units, including its extensive suite of UK and Irish high street betting shops, for £2.2 billion.
If CNBC’s reports are correct, it shows that Apollo has not been dissuaded from its sports betting ambitions by these previous setbacks and remains committed to bolstering its presence in the sector, especially as the regulated industry expands across the US.
It has been noted that Yahoo Sports has already established itself as a fantasy sports provider with a user base in the millions, which could provide a benchmark for crossover sales should a sports betting spin-off launch.