Business By The Books: Largest Genius Sports Shareholder Selling

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Apax Partners, the largest shareholder in Genius Sports and investor since 2018, is looking to move some shares.

Apax could sell up to 23 million of its 60.2 million shares, the exclusive distributor of NFL betting data announced Thursday. That amount accounted for 27.9% of GENI ownership, according to the Genius 2022 annual report,

Those shares are priced at $5.35 each. That represents an 11% discount on Wednesday’s closing price, though the news of the sale sparked a selloff to $5.67 on Thursday, with more than 8 times its average volume.

The price is a 6.3% discount as of Friday’s closing price of $5.69.

More details of Genius share sale

The offering from Apax is officially for 20 million shares, though there will be a 30-day option to buy an additional 3 million shares from Apax.

Genius will not receive any proceeds from the sale.

Selling 23 million shares represents 11% of Genius’ public float given the 208.6 million reported at the end of the second quarter. Apax would still be the largest GENI holder even if all 23 million shares are sold.

Genius gets Snappy

Verizon Wireless customers will soon get brand new Snapchat features with NFL data through a deal with Genius Sports.

The Snapchat Lens will include live data visualizations with augmented reality features. The partnership kicked off Sunday at the Los Angeles Rams home game.

“With over 250 million Snapchatters engaging with AR on our platform every day, we’re thrilled for Genius Sports to bring real-time data to our Lenses to make them even more immersive,” said Anmol Malhotra, Snap’s Head of Sports Partnerships.

Betfred USA hires Spajic as CEO

Kresimir Spajic is the new CEO of Betfred USA, the company announced Thursday.

Spajic has held many roles in the US sports betting and iGaming industry. Previous stops include Hard Rock, Rush Street Interactive, Bwin, and Apollo Global.

“We are delighted with the appointment of Kresimir Spajic,” Betfred CEO Joanne Whittaker said. “Our team in the US have worked tirelessly to expand our operation and with Kresimir’s vast experience, we have the right person to take our US business to the next level.”

888 hires Wilkins as CFO

Sean Wilkins will take over as CFO of 888 in February.

He most recently was CFO of Superbet and has more than 17 years of CFO experience with public and private companies.

Current CFO Yariv Dafna will step down Oct. 2. Chief Strategy Officer Vaughan Lewis will serve as interim CFO until Wilkins joins.

888 operates SI Sportsbook in the US.

ESPN sees NFL viewer growth

ESPN is about two months away from getting into the sports betting business with Penn National and is showing solid growth in key markets.

The network reported 22.64 million viewers tuned in to see Aaron Rodgers and Josh Allen on Monday Night Football last week. That record number is up 14% over last year and is 3.9% higher than the former record set in 2009.

Since the start of the 2022 season, Monday Night Football has seen three of its five most-watched games since 2006.

ESPN Bet is expected to go live in November before Thanksgiving.

FanDuel adds more RG ambassadors

Former US soccer player Carli Lloyd and Tom Kim of the PGA Tour are now Responsible Gaming Ambassadors for FanDuel.

The sportsbook operator will also launch new RG content that will air throughout the football season.

FanDuel also announced it selected Amazon Web Services as its strategic cloud provider. The company has used AWS cloud services since it launched in 2009.

SB22 drops bet type for novice bettors

SB22 hopes to take some of the mystery out of sports betting for novice bettors with Lucky22.

Lucky22 can be activated by a button on the K22 self-service gaming kiosk. A press of the button will give bettors “a set of simple, tailored wagering offers, which can adjust the bet and amount wagered based on how much the player wants to win.”

SB22 will show off Lucky22 at G2E in October.