Paddy Power Betfair in talks to buy Fanduel

Paddy Power Betfair in talks to buy Fanduel

Paddy Power Betfair confirms it is in talks to buy FanDuel after restriction lifted on sports betting in the US

FanDuel and DraftKings, the market leaders in the USA fantasy sports industry, ended merger talks a year ago over concerns that the Federal Trade Commission would not look favorably on the deal.

A court ruling banning sports betting in many USA states was overturned earlier this month.

Many analysts believe London-listed firms are well placed to grab a slice of the USA market, where some estimates say almost $150bn (£111bn) in illegal wagers are placed every year.

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The UK operator said discussions with Fanduel, which hands cash prizes to players who pick successful fantasy sports teams, were ongoing and that there was no certainty any deal would go ahead.

Shares of US casino companies and bookmakers such as William Hill Plc rallied on the court decision.

Paddy Power Betfair has already invested $48m in there USA operations including the acquisition of another fantasy sports site, Draft. This piece of legislation had instituted a federal ban on all sportsbetting in the United States with the notable exception of venues located in the states of Delaware, Oregon, Nevada and Montana with its overthrow now certain to result in a nationwide proliferation in regulated sports wagering. Paddy Power shares rose 5.5% to 81.90 pounds at 9:45 a.m.

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The ruling sent shares in Paddy Power, GVC and William Hill up as much as 12pc on Monday. Morgan Stanley reissued an underweight rating and issued a GBX 7,200 ($97.67) target price on shares of Paddy Power Betfair in a report on Tuesday, April 24th. This is a positive change from Paddy Power Betfair's previous dividend of $65.00. Among the firms that have invested in FanDuel since its founding are KKR & Co., Alphabet Inc.'s Capital G fund, Time Warner Investments and NBC Sports Ventures.

FanDuel grew to become one of two Scots unicorns, with a $1 billion valuation, alongside Skyscanner.

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