Business By The Books: Exiting US Sports Betting Operator To Be Bought

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Kindred, which decided to pull the Unibet brand out of US sports betting after saying it would focus on states with iGaming, is being bought by French gaming company La Française des Jeux.

Better known as FDJ, the company offered 130 Swedish krona per Swedish depository receipt, or share, in a deal announced Monday morning. That is a 24.4% premium over the Jan. 19 closing price.

The total deal is for 27.951 billion Swedish krona, or $2.67 billion. That represents a multiple of 10.9 times Kindred’s 2023 underlying EBITDA.

Kindred announced in April that it was undergoing a strategic review and said in its third quarter earnings release that shareholder value would likely be maximized by a full sale of the company.

Kindred board recommends approval

Kindred’s board unanimously recommended shareholder approval. Five companies that hold a combined 27.9% Kindred shares have already said they accept the offer.

The stock jumped 16.7% in Stockholm Monday to 121.9 Swedish krona. The stock saw 16.2 million in volume, which is more than 27 times its average volume.

The next step comes Feb. 16, when an extraordinary general meeting will be held to vote on the deal.

US drag continued in fourth quarter

Kindred reported a North American underlying EBITDA loss of $7.7 million in the fourth quarter. That is down from $8.3 million in the third quarter.

The company expects to save about $50 million annually from the exit, which should be finalized by the second quarter of this year. Shuttering US operations was a recommendation out of the strategic review:

“The long-term outlook for Kindred in North America has changed since entry. The competitive nature of the market means significant resource is needed to close the gap to market leaders and at our current capacity this is untenable.”

2FA coming to OH sports betting?

Mobile Ohio sportsbooks will have to require multifactor authentication if the Ohio Casino Control Commission gets its way.

The commission proposed a simple amendment that makes 2FA mandatory, striking language in the rules that said operators must provide 2FA as an option. New Jersey added the requirement for 2FA in 2022.

Public comments will be accepted until 5 pm Jan. 26.

SB LVIII sports betting commercials

There will be at least two sports betting companies that hope to grab the attention of anyone betting on the Super Bowl with ads during the game.

BetMGM teased its ad last week, which will include appearances from Tom Brady, Wayne Gretzky and Vince Vaughn.

FanDuel is back as well with Kick of Destiny 2, which will see customers take a share of $10 million in bonus bets if they correctly guess whether Rob Gronkowski will make or miss a field goal attempt.

Stifel cuts CZR target

Steve Wieczynski of Stifel lowered his Caesars target to $67 but maintained his buy rating in a Wednesday note.

The drop comes from lower EBITDA estimates for the fourth quarter. Wieczynski noted soft regional results, a lower-than-expected impact from the F1 race, and lower online sports betting hold, which was dinged in November by bettor-friendly results.

Wieczynski sees five main catalysts for the stock, including positive EBITDA coming from the digital segment this year.

“We also believe investors will be surprised at what CZR is doing on the iGaming front as that becomes their focus versus the less profitable OSB side of the equation,” Wieczynski said.

PrizePicks selects Xpoint for geolocation

PrizePicks announced it has selected Xpoint to provide geolocation services for its daily fantasy platform.

The release said Xpoint provides a “best-in-class, innovative geolocation and anti-fraud solution designed specifically to meet PrizePicks’ unique requirements.”

Xpoint is currently in court defending its geolocation product against GeoComply, which sued for patent infringement. An initial ruling dismissed GeoComply’s complaints, but GeoComply has since appealed.

Circa partners with ProhiBet

Circa Sports will use ProhiBet‘s cross-monitoring and notification platform that will prevent prohibited individuals from using their sportsbook.

ProhiBet is a joint venture between US Integrity and Odds On Compliance.

The database includes athletes, coaches and league officials.