Penn National Completes Acquisition of Score Media & Gaming

The acquisition of Score Media and Gaming by Penn National Gaming was completed on October 19, Penn confirmed in a statement.

The total value of the deal is approximately US$2.0 billion ($2.47 billion) in cash and stock.

Penn had agreed to acquire theScore in a US$2 billion cash-and-stock deal in August which will see Penn pay $17 in cash and 0.2398 shares – $17’s worth – of its stock for every theScore share, for a total consideration of $34 per share. This will mean that theScore shareholders will hold approximately seven per cent of the new combined business, while current Penn shareholders will hold the remaining 93 per cent.

Penn’s statement says the acquisition of theScore fortifies its digital media and gaming strategy, creating “a complete one-stop entertainment destination.”

It cites theScore as the third-most popular sports media app in North America and number one in Canada and emphasizes that adding theScore’s fully integrated media and betting platform and cutting-edge technology will further strengthen Penn National’s existing ecosystem and ability to seamlessly serve its customers.

Penn said at the time of the announcement of the deal in August that it plans to migrate its betting products to a platform currently being built by theScore.

Pairing theScore with Barstool Sports provides Penn National with two of North America’s most powerful and unique sports media assets, the statement continues, with the capabilities to generate best-in-class engagement and enhanced customer acquisition and retention across its media and gaming properties.

“We’re excited to be creating this powerful new entertainment flywheel that will provide us with multiple growth channels that transcend our current business verticals,” said Jay Snowden, President and CEO of Penn National Gaming. “We look forward to entering the Canadian gaming market, which represents a compelling new opportunity, and are proud to have John Levy and his family and their entire team bring their best-in-class technology, unique perspective and skill sets to our Penn National family.”

John Levy, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of theScore, added: “It is a truly exciting time to join Penn National and collaborate with their team to build a highly innovative and first-of-its-kind sports media and gaming company. There is natural alignment between the two companies, and we are perfectly positioned to capitalize on the growing entertainment opportunities across mobile sports media, sports betting and online casino. We believe the combined company is well-positioned to continue growing our business across North America, including the expected opening of sports betting and iGaming in Ontario later this year.”

The takeover had been approved in recent days by the Minister of Canadian Heritage under the Investment Canada Act, while theScore’s shareholders had also overwhelmingly voted to approve the proposed acquisition of the business by Penn National Gaming. During a special meeting on October 12, 99.96 per cent of the votes cast by shareholders were in favour of the deal, with just 0.04 per cent against.

TheScore is currently developing its own platform, part of a wider operational overhaul. The acquisition will see theScore continue to be operated as a standalone business and led by its founding Levy family “with the same operating philosophy that has driven the company’s success to date”.

Penn National said at the time of the initial acquisition announcement that it believes the Canadian gaming market represents “a compelling opportunity” for growth and that it was attracted to theScore, in part, for its ready access to a deep pool of Canadian engineering and technology expertise.

The company adds that not only will the acquisition reinforce its position at the epicentre of sports, media, gaming, and technology, but will also accelerate its strategy to enter into other verticals that leverage the Barstool and theScore brands and consumer appeal such as the esports media market.

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