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Sports betting data provider Sportradar plans New York IPO

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Gambling industry updates

Sportradar Group, the betting data provider, is planning an initial public offering in New York as it seeks to expand on the back of legalisation of sports betting in the fast-growing US market.

Carsten Koerl, chief executive and founder of the Switzerland-based company, said in a statement that new betting markets such as the US were among “numerous” growth opportunities as sports become more digital.

“The global pandemic accelerated this [digital] transformation,” said Koerl, who also co-founded Bwin, the betting operator now owned by FTSE 100 gambling group Entain.

The data around gameplay are becoming increasingly important as betting groups seek to offer more opportunities to gamble beyond simply predicting the final result and score. As a result, focus is shifting to companies capable of gathering, refining and distributing data to media companies and betting operators.

Sports teams are increasingly using data to assess players and strategies, while fans are also seeking out more analytics as they watch and bet.

Financial details of the planned listing on the Nasdaq Global Select Market which is being led by JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley and UBS, are yet to be confirmed.

The decision to go public through a conventional IPO comes after talks to list through Horizon Acquisition Corp, a special purpose acquisition company backed by Todd Boehly, the co-owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team, were scrapped, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.

Sportradar’s existing investors include the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and Technology Crossover Ventures, as well as billionaire Ted Leonsis, Mark Cuban and former basketball star Michael Jordan.

The company, whose customers include betting operators Bet365 and Entain, last month signed a 10-year deal for betting data and media rights with the North American National Hockey League, which has been given the right to buy shares as part of the IPO. Major League Baseball is also a Sportradar customer.

The planned IPO comes after rival Genius Sports listed on the New York Stock Exchange in April through a $1.5bn merger with DMY Technology Group, a blank-cheque company.

Genius and Sportradar are hoping to benefit from the gathering momentum in the US sports betting industry, which is expanding fast after a federal ban on the practice was overturned by a Supreme Court ruling in 2018.

Both companies, which have previously clashed over data rights to Premier League football matches, have made recent acquisitions. Sportradar bought Atrium Sports, which provides data and analytics on college and professional sports, for about €200m in May; in the same month, Genius paid $200m for Second Spectrum, a partner to the English Premier League.

Sportradar’s revenues in the first half of the year amounted to €272m, versus €191m in the corresponding six months a year earlier. Its first-half net profit slipped by €2.5m to €17.7m year on year, while Genius said in May that it expected annual revenues in 2021 to total $250m to $260m.

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