Former F1 owner Eddie Jordan has expressed interest in OpenBet

Posted on: July 17, 2021, 3:31 p.m.

Last update on: July 17, 2021, 4:38 a.m.

Irish businessman Eddie Jordan, former owner of a Formula 1 (F1) team with his last name, is rumored to be preparing a bid for the sports betting unit OpenBet. This division was recently put up for sale by Scientific Games (NASDAQ: SGMS).

Scientific games
Former Formula One owner Eddie Jordan (left), seen here with driver Sebastian Vettel. Jordan is rumored to be interested in Scientific Games’ sports betting unit. (Image: Getty Images)

Speculation to this effect has recently been sparked by former Australian F1 driver Mark Webber, who is a close friend of Jordan’s. In a recent Instagram post, Webber noted that his friend could be on the verge of an “in-game mega acquisition.”

Currency, a European publicationThe story originally reported, noting that a former Irish executive at the Las Vegas-based gaming technology company supports Jordan’s offer to acquire the sports betting arm. Scientific Games’ sports betting unit is valued at at least $ 1 billion.

At the end of June, the company revealed its intention to divest its lottery and sports betting business as part of an ongoing effort to reduce its debt, which currently stands at around $ 9.5 billion.

Science games have a lot of options

After disclosing its intention to part ways with Lottery and OpenBet units, Scientific Games said the transactions could be done in three ways. This includes an Initial Public Offering (IPO), a merger with a Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC), or a traditional sale or merger with another company.

The picture is changing, however. For example, rumors surfaced last week that the company may be considering an Australian IPO for the lottery sector. Some pundits think this might be a smart move for science games as the lottery arm might get a higher multiple in the Land Down Under.

It is estimated that the company could achieve a valuation of 10 times 12-month earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of $ 430 million. An investment bank said an Australian lottery arm IPO could be valued at between $ 3.44 billion and $ 5.16 billion.

As for the OpenBet business, it should attract full-fledged contenders as it provides back-end services and technology to some of the biggest sports betting operators in the world. It deals billions of dollars in bets every year.

Investors not yet impressed

Science games stocks are up nearly 47% year-to-date, which is good for one of the best performances in the gaming industry. However, while analysts are mostly excited By the company’s plan to reduce debt by parting with lottery and OpenBet units, the stock has yet to be rewarded for these plans.

In fact, stocks have fallen 14.42% this week. Part of that drop is attributable to Scientific Games’ announcement of an offer to take over 19% of social casino developer SciPlay Corp. (NASDAQ: SCPL) which it does not currently own.

For Scientific Games, regaining momentum is simple. If the company orders higher-than-expected prices for lottery and sports betting business, it could allay investor concerns about leverage and potentially lead to a rally in the stock.

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