Paddy Power and Stars in talks for £8.4bn mega-merger

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In a sign that the even world largest betting and gaming companies are not done consolidating, the Sunday Times reports of merger talks between Paddy Power Betfair and Stars Group – for what would have created an £8.4bn company.

According to the newspaper, talks of the mega merger were conducted “late last year” and are now understood to be over. With their respective global brands including PokerStars, FanDuel and SkyBet (and many of them already market leaders across various territories) the new entity “would almost certainly run into competition issues,” said The Times, “which could have halted the move.”
The discussions come just weeks after various major regulatory changes were announced in both the UK and Australia, commonly seen as a starting whistle for a fresh wave of consolidation, as firms continue to seek synergies to absorb these extra costs.
Firms that have so far been left out of the bigger deals in recent years – such as William Hill and 888 – were widely expected to be involved in mergers this year.
Yet Paddy Power and Stars have been two of the most active, showing that there is still appetite for such “mergers of equals” – even among the world’s largest firms.
Paddy Power recently concluded its acquisition of FanDuel – an American daily fantasy sports with millions of active users. Its market cap currently sits at £4.8bn. While the latter completed a number of transactions in 2018, including CrownBet and William Hill in Australia – and most recently the media- backed SkyBet which operates across the UK, Germany and Italy. Stars Group is currently valued at $6.4bn.

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