Star Group merges with Flutter

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Star Group, which owns online poker giant PokerStars, is merging with Flutter Entertainment.

The $12 billion deal was announced Tuesday morning. Anyone unfamiliar with Flutter may be more familiar with some of the gambling giants it owns, namely Paddy Power, Betfair and FanDuel.

By merging, the two companies will form one of the largest online gambling companies in the world. Under the all-share deal the UK-listed Flutter will absorb the TSX-based Stars Group and gain control of just below 55 percent of the new company.

The balance of the shares with be retained by Stars Group shareholders.

The merger is expected to be completed near the middle of 2020, if it receives regulatory approval in the several jurisdictions the old companies reside.

The new large company, to be called Flutter, will be based out of Dublin, Ireland. Current Flutter CEO Peter Jackson will retain that position in the new enlarged company. Flutter CFO Jonathan Hill will also retain his role, while current Stars Group CEO Rafi Ashkenazi will become the new COO at Flutter.

This is the latest is a series of big moves and acquisition by Flutter, which was created following the merger of Paddy Power and Betfair in 2015. Flutter went on to acquire FanDuel’s US operations in 2018.

With the online and sports betting industry slowly opening up in the United States in the last few years it will be interesting to see what this deal means for the future of PokerStars in the US.

Of course, the ongoing saga around the Wire Act opinion could also be a big factor in the future of PokerStars and their new partners in the US market as well.

Other news:   Online Poker Regulation Bill Filed in New York

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