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Paddy Power Betfair Completes Acquisition of DFS Leader FanDuel

Less than two months after the deal was announced, Irish sports betting titan Paddy Power Betfair has completed its acquisition of daily fantasy sports (DFS) platform FanDuel.

Paddy Power Betfair didn’t release the exact financial terms of the purchase, but the company allocated the resources of its now defunct Betfair U.S. subsidiary to form the new FanDuel Group. In addition, Paddy Power Betfair provided a cash installment of $158 million, part of which will be used to pay down FanDuel’s existing debt liabilities of $76 million.

FanDuel players were the first to learn the news on July 11 after receiving the following email:

“Today is a milestone for the sports industry.

We are excited to share that we closed our previously announced merger agreement with Paddy Power Betfair to combine our US businesses, allowing us to move forward with our promise to provide you, our loyal users, an even better experience.”

Matt King – who has served as the chief executive officer for FanDuel since November of last year – was appointed to the same role within the newly created FanDuel Group.

The shuffling within the company’s corporate hierarchy continued with former Betfair U.S. chief executive officer Kip Levin becoming president and chief operating officer of the FanDuel Group. Paul Rushton – who currently holds the position of commercial finance director for Paddy Power Betfair – will take on the role of chief financial officer.

In a press release announcing the acquisition’s closure, King outlined the various components of the FanDuel Group:

“Beginning today, we will be one company: FanDuel Group featuring a number of brands you love including FanDuel, TVG Network, Betfair Casino, and DRAFT.

What does this mean for you? You will not see any changes to FanDuel for the time being.

You will still have access to all of the contests and games you have grown to love and we look forward to bringing you new games, features, and a host of sports betting products for this NFL season.”

The flagship FanDuel platform – one of the two major DFS market leaders worldwide along with DraftKings – is the centerpiece of Paddy Power Betfair’s acquisition. FanDuel currently serves more than 8 million players across 45 states, generating $265 million in annual revenue.

Among the new American-facing assets now held by Paddy Power Betfair are TVG, a website dedicated to live streaming and betting on horse races, and the Betfair online casino in New Jersey.

The former Betfair U.S. recently inked a deal to provide online and land-based sportsbook services for the Meadowlands Racetrack in New Jersey. A similar deal has been struck with Tioga Downs in New York, but that partnership is pending legalization regulating sports betting in the Empire State.

The first brick and mortar sportsbook bearing the FanDuel brand opened for business July 14 at the Meadowlands Racetrack.

FanDuel also secured a sportsbook servicer deal with the Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia earlier in the month.

Paddy Power Betfair has yet to issue its own public statement on the deal’s closure. But back in May, chief executive officer Peter Jackson made it clear that the company was keen on capitalizing on America’s recent repeal of the federal sports betting ban:

“This combination creates the industry’s largest online business in the US, with a large sports-focused customer base and an extensive nationwide footprint.”

On May 14, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a landmark 6-3 ruling striking down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) of 1992. The PASPA had previously limited single-game sports betting to Nevada only, but following the Court’s repeal, individual states are now free to legalize and regulate sportsbooks.

New Jersey and Delaware have already launched live sports betting, while Pennsylvania and West Virginia are among the states with laws on the books and regulations pending.