Entain Group Buys eSports Betting Developer Sportsflare for €12.4m

Betting and gaming giant Entain Group has announced that it will acquire eSports betting developer Sportsflare as part of a new deal that will see Entain become the owner of Sportsflare’s parent company, Tiidal Gaming NZ. As part of the deal, Entain Group, which is the owner of two of the most popular betting sites in Ireland, Coral and Ladbrokes, will pay €12.4m for all existing shares of Sportsflare, including ones that have already been issued. 

The acquisition of Sportsflare has been announced mere days after Entain published its financial results for FY2022, and industry experts are not surprised at the deal. In its financial report, Entain announced that its betting sites and online gaming services have seen a 1% drop in their gross gaming revenue compared to FY2021. As a result, Entain will be taking bold steps to ensure improvement and growth where online betting and gaming is involved. While Entain is already one of the world leaders in eSports and offers a rich portfolio of eSports markets on its betting sites, the acquisition of leading eSports betting developer such as Sportsflare will significantly consolidate the company’s influence and leading position in the field. 

The acquisition deal between Entain and Tiidal Gaming NZ has been achieved under several important conditions. The deal has been negotiated at arm’s length between Entain and Tiidal Gaming Holdings which is a subsidiary of Tiidal Gaming Group Corp. The deal is still subject to approval by the various Tiidal shareholders and interested parties, with the vote having been scheduled for 26th April 2023. The deal will only be concluded once all required consents have been received. The moneys paid by Entain will be placed by Tidal in a holding account for the period of 180 days. It will be easily accessible for the purposes of working capital adjustments and/or buyer claims brought forward by Entain. In addition to this, 20% of the price will be reserved for reasonable costs arising from the acquisition. Tiidal has also agreed to a $500,000 (€465,000) termination fee which it would have to pay to Entain in the unlikely event that it pulls out of the deal. 

Commenting on the deal, Tiidal Chief executive Thomas Hearne said:

“I am incredibly proud of what the Sportsflare team has done over the last year; given the capital markets environment, we believed it was best to find a great home for Sportflare in order to maximise value for Tiidal shareholders. Sportsflare will be a great fit with Entain’s strong presence in the industry and our board of directors is confident that Sportsflare joining Entain is the best long-term solution for its employees and partners.”

Prior to the acquisition, Entain secured further collaboration with Tiidal Gaming Group, Tiidal Holdings, and Sportsflare through Ladbrokes Group Finance, which is an Entain affiliate providing financial services under the brand of one of its most popular betting sites in Ireland and the UK. The companies have sourced a definitive loan agreement from Ladbrokes Group Finance, which features a secured credit facility. The companies will have access to an aggregate principal amount of NZ$1.7m (about €985,000). Ladbrokes Group Finance has already paid out NZ$1.2m (about €695,000) to the companies on 2nd February 2023. 

Sportsflare prides itself on creating new betting experience for the eSports era. The company offers a bespoke, state-of-the-art portfolio of innovative products and services which betting sites use to improve their eSports betting portfolio and provide its customers with outstanding betting and gaming experience. Sportsflare provides the first and only betbuilder tool in the field of eSports, and amongst its features is same-game parlay betting, which can be used by bettors to combine any possible outcome, thus creating their own bespoke betting market. The betbuilder is integrated with the most popular competitive games (including CS:GO, League of Legends and Dota 2) and provides an unlimited number of possibilities for betting markets. 

Sportsflare has also developed Micromarkets, or Flash Markets, which is a tool that allows customers of betting sites to bet on any upcoming action in-game, thus turning every event into a live betting opportunity. For example, when it comes to competitive gaming, customers will be able to bet on dynamic markets such as next kill location or next team to get a kill. The tool is known to appeal to bettors because it makes betting on eSports more engaging, with real-time dynamic data taken into consideration to make the next wagering decision. It allows for over 1,250 markets per match and over 15.5 million markets per year for the three games. 

The acquisition of Sportsflare by Entain is certainly a great move for both companies. Sportsflare will enjoy the stability and secure future that comes from being part of a large betting provider, and Entain will undoubtedly turn this into a major milestone on its way to becoming the leading provider of eSports betting sites, while at the same time increasing revenue and profit through Sportsflare’s innovative, modern products.