PointsBet (OTC: PBTHF) reportedly engaged investment bank Moelis & Co. to explore a sale of its North American operations in a sign the company wants to focus on its more profitable Australian business.
Both PointsBet arms have been the subject of long-running takeover rumors, but the operator has struggled to attain profitability in the fiercely competitive and expensive US market. As a result, its market share in this country is paltry compared to rivals such as FanDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM, and Caesars Sportsbook.
We believe further industry consolidation is inevitable, and we’ll position PointsBet to take advantage of movement in the sector,” a PointsBet spokesman told The Australian Financial Review.
Entering this year, it was widely believed that by virtue of FanDuel, DraftKings, and BetMGM controlling 85% of the US mobile sports betting market, consolidation would be a primary theme among smaller players, such as PointsBet.
Why PointsBet is an Attractive Target
While it’s not profitable in the US and it’s struggled to attain solid market share here, there are reasons to believe PointsBet is a compelling takeover target.
First, the market value of the entire company is just $242.36 million, meaning the US side of the business could likely be had at favorable pricing. Second, the operator has licenses in 14 states, including the attractive Ohio market. Third, its revenue is growing and costs are declining. Finally, it sits on mounds of cash.
The Australian Financial Review reported that an unidentified private equity company kicked the tires on PointsBet this week, but interest was described as tepid. The publication also mentioned Bally’s (NYSE: BALY) as a potential suitor. The casino operator faces a similar conundrum to PointsBet: an unprofitable digital business and small US sports wagering market share.
In recent years, Bally’s has been one of the most acquisitive companies in the gaming industry, but some of its digital and sports wagering-related purchases proved ill-fated and the operator is now focusing on reducing costs.
Could Penn Entertainment Be a Player for PointsBet?
Though not mentioned by the Australian Financial Review, Penn Entertainment (NASDAQ: PENN) could be a name to watch regarding a PointsBet takeover. Penn’s Barstool Sportsbook is also a bit player in market share terms in the US. If the price is right for PointsBet, Penn could economically bolster Barstool Sportsbook’s market share.
Even if another suitor acquires PointsBet, Penn could benefit because the regional casino operator owns an equity stake in the Aussie firm.
PointsBet is live in Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia. That roster could be attractive to prospective suitors, particularly those that want in on established markets and up-and-comers such as Maryland and Ohio.
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