Penn National Gaming is to acquire a 36% stake in Barstool, which started as a Boston sports blog before moving heavily into video and podcasts, for $163M. It will then pay another $62M in three years, bringing its stake to 50% with the ability to buy controlling ownership for an amount to be determined at the time.
Following the close of the transaction, The Chernin Group, which previously owned approximately 60% of Barstool Sports, will own 36% of Barstool Sports, and the remaining 28% will be held by Barstool Sports’ employees including founder Dave Portnoy and CEO Erika Nardini.
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The deal will mean that Penn National will be Barstool Sports’ exclusive gaming partner for up to 40 years and have the sole right to utilize the Barstool Sports brand for all of its online and retail sports betting and iCasino products.
The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2020.
Dave Portnoy said, “This opportunity is a dream of mine and why I started Barstool Sports in the first place. Barstool Sports has a deep sports and gaming history and from the moment we met Jay and the Penn National team we knew this could be an exciting and game changing partnership and we can’t wait to get started. I think with our shared vision and goals, we are uniquely positioned to be a leader in this business.”
Jay Snowden, President and Chief Executive Officer of Penn National, added, “With its leading digital content, well-known brand and deep roots in sports betting, Barstool Sports is the ideal partner for Penn National and will enable us to attract a new, younger demographic, which will nicely complement our existing customer database. In addition, with 66 million monthly unique visitors, we believe the significant reach of Barstool Sports and loyalty of its audience will lead to meaningful reductions in customer acquisition and promotional costs for our sports betting and online products, significantly enhancing profitability and driving value for our shareholders.”
Mike Kerns, Partner at The Chernin Group, said, “We’re excited to partner with Penn National on Barstool Sports’ next chapter. We have long believed in the power of Barstool Sports’ unique brand, and with Erika’s leadership and Dave’s vision, the Company has realized remarkable growth over the last four years. We believe the marriage of the Barstool brand and passionate audience with Penn National’s gaming leadership will change the industry.”
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