Better Collective Continues North American Expansion, Buys Playmaker Capital for $188M

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Danish betting analytics provider Better Collective (STO: BETCO) continued boosting its North American footprint, announcing earlier Tuesday that it’s acquiring Toronto-based Playmaker Capital (TSX-V: PMKR) for $188 million in cash and stock.

Better Collective CEO Jesper Søgaard. His company is buying Canada’s Playmaker for $188 million. (Image: Berlingske)

The buyer said it is funding the transaction in 65% equity, including the issuance of new shares, 35% in cash. Better Collective’s second acquisition to date arrived about two and a half years after it unveiled the $240 million cash/stock purchase of The Action Network.

Playmaker Capital is a leading digital sports media group operating a strong portfolio of sports media brands across the Americas. Following the closing of the transaction, Playmaker Capital will be a wholly owned subsidiary of Better Collective. Once integrated, Better Collective expects to significantly ramp up its media capabilities and expand its audiences across its sports media portfolio,” according to a statement issued by the Danish company.

Subject to legal and regulatory approvals as well as approval by Playmaker investors, the transaction is scheduled to close in the first quarter of next year. Relay Ventures and JPG Investments Inc. — Playmaker’s two largest investors — control 24% of the outstanding equity in the firm.

There’s Still Appetite for Sports Betting Media Deals

While the landscape has shifted somewhat, Better Collective’s acquisition of Playmaker Capital confirms there’s still appetite for mergers and acquisitions at the intersection of sports media and betting.

That’s particularly true of the target brings enviable properties to the table. As the owner of Futbol Sites, The Nation Network and Yardbarker, Playmaker Capital checks that box. Plus, the company is profitable as it generated earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization of $16 million on revenue of nearly $59 million over the trailing 12 months.

“That implies an EV/EBITDA multiple of 11.7x, which Better Collective expects to bring down to below 5x by the end of 2026,” noted the buyer.

Playmaker’s various internet properties generate 200 million monthly unique visitors and have more than 180 million followers combined across various social media platforms.

‘Transformational’ Buy for Better Collective

By way of Futbol Sites, Playmaker Capital also provides Better Collective with entry into the potentially lucrative South American sports wagering market.

There are already vibrant sports wagering markets in Colombia and Peru and that doesn’t include Brazil, which could be the mecca of South American sports betting. Those could be indications that Better Collective was prescient in its acquisition of Playmaker Capital.

“Acquiring Playmaker Capital is in many ways transformational for Better Collective and will be an important milestone in our journey towards becoming the leading digital sports media group,” said Better Collective CEO Jesper Søgaard in the statement. “Upon closing of the acquisition, we will significantly grow our audience and reach a larger segment of generalist sports fans. For years, Playmaker Capital has built incredibly strong sports media brands and excited sports fans across the Americas with high-quality sports content, cultivating a loyal and dedicated following.”

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