Merger Approved, DraftKings Will Be Public Company Friday

Merger Approved, DraftKings Will Be Public Company Friday

DraftKings is going public.

The digital sports entertainment and gaming company announced Thursday that it has completed its $3.3 billion merger with SBTech and Diamond Eagle Acquisition Corp., and will trade on the Nasdaq Global Select Market beginning Friday under the ticker symbol “DKNG.” Shareholders of Diamond Eagle, an acquisition and merger firm, approved the merger earlier Thursday.

“Today marks another milestone for DraftKings and the future of digital sports entertainment and gaming in America,” Jason Robins, co-founder and CEO of DraftKings, said in a news release. “By bringing together our leading consumer brand, data science expertise and industry-leading products with SBTech’s proven technology platform, we will accelerate our innovation, growth and scale. I am confident that the new DraftKings will progress our goal of offering the best, most innovative sports and gaming products to our customers.”

Long known for its daily fantasy sports and mobile sports betting platforms, DraftKings will now integrate with SBTech, a Bulgarian sports betting technology provider. It will allow the Boston-based company to provide an overall sports betting experience for the user. That could include odds compilation, trading, risk management and user-interface development.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission gave its approval to the merger last week. According to a news release, Diamond Eagle’s registration statement about “the previously announced business combination with DraftKings Inc. and SBTech has been declared effective by the SEC.”

“We are pleased to bring DraftKings and SBTech together as one public company,” Harry E. Sloan, founding Investor of Diamond Eagle, said in a news release when the merger was announced in December. “DraftKings is already a premier online fantasy sports and betting platform. With the full integration of SBTech’s technology and innovative product expertise coupled with the right capitalization, DraftKings will be in a great position to continue its ambitious expansion plans in the United States.”

'Vertically-Integrated Powerhouse'

Robins said in December that “the combination of DraftKings’ leading and trusted brand, deep focus on customer experience and data science expertise and SBTech’s highly innovative and proven technology platform creates a vertically-integrated powerhouse.”

In addition to Robins, DraftKings will keep its management team in place, including Matt Kalish, co-founder and president/North America, according to the news release. Robins will also serve as chairman of the board with Sloan of Diamond Eagle, who will be vice chair.

DraftKings, with about 2,300 employees worldwide, will keep its global headquarters in Boston and have U.S. offices in Hoboken, New Jersey, Las Vegas, New York City and San Francisco. International offices will be in Dublin, Kyiv, Plovdiv, Sofia and Tel Aviv.

The deal should allow DraftKings to keep pace with its longtime rival, FanDuel. An investor presentation shown when the merger was first announced indicated that DraftKings expects to capture between 20% to 30% of the U.S. sports betting market and generate between $2.3 and $3.5 billion in gross online sports betting revenue.

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