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Entain completes CA$13.2m Sportsflare purchase

| By Marese O'Hagan
Entain has completed its purchase of Tiidal Gaming NZ, owners of esports betting developer Sportsflare, for CA$13.2m (£7.9m/€9.2m/US$9.9m).

By acquiring Sportsflare, Entain will add a a number of popular betting products to its offering, optimised for esports. This includes a bet builder – which Sportsflare claims is the only solution of its kind for esports – as well as micro-markets and a solution for gamers to bet on their own performance.

Entain struck the deal in March and will purchase all issued and outstanding shares in the supplier.

The purchase price will be retained by Tiidal for 180 days. During this time, Tiidal will be able to access the funds to attend to any working capital adjustment. Tiidal can also access 20% of the funds at any time to pay reasonable costs related to the deal.

Upon the closure of the deal, Tiidal granted 2,500,000 restricted share units to its CEO, as part of his employment agreement. In addition, 1,910,700 common shares were issued to Sportsflare personnel.

Following these issuances, Tiidal had 87,603,908 shares issued and outstanding.

When the deal was first announced Thomas Hearne, chief executive at Tiidal, said that Sportsflare “will be a great fit with Entain’s strong presence in the industry”, adding that the deal will “maximise value for Tiidal shareholders”.

Entain’s esports investments

The conclusion of this deal builds on Entain’s recent moves in the esports space.

In December last year, it relaunched Unikrn, the esports betting brand that it acquired in October 2021. As part of the deal, Entain acquired Unikrn’s technology and its esports betting platform.

At the time Entain said it was aiming to roll out Unikrn in other regulated markets.

In March this year – two weeks after the acquisition of Tiidal was announced – Unikrn agreed to a multi-year partnership with Blast, another esports entertainment business. This partnership stipulated that Unikrn would appear within Blast’s event coverage and promotions.

Entain’s M&A activity

Entain supports its esports plans with investments in disruptive technologies, through its innovation hub Ennovate. The London-based hub is investing £100m in virtual reality and blockchain solutions, of which £40m will be allocated to UK businesses.

The core real-money gaming business is growing through bolt-on regional acquisitions. Entain is accelerating growth in the Netherlands with BetCity and in the Baltics with Enlabs.

In Eastern Europe, its presence grew through the acquisition of Croatia’s SuperSport. The operator works with Czech investment fund Emma Capital to seek out further deals in the region.

Last week Entain updated the market on two recent M&A deals – Tab NZ and 365scores. Entain entered into a 25-year partnership with Tab NZ last month, while plans to purchase affiliate 365scores were announced in April.

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