Once upon a time, in the not-so-distant past of early 2021, DraftKings (NASDAQ: DKNG) and Fanatics were on the brink of a beautiful merger. They were so close, they could almost taste the $48 billion deal that would have valued each company at a cool $24 billion. But alas, like a dramatic twist in a daytime soap opera, Fanatics founder, Chairman, and CEO Michael Rubin got cold feet and called off the wedding at the eleventh hour.
Now, instead of sharing a cozy corporate love nest, DraftKings and Fanatics are rivals in the cutthroat world of sports betting. They’re even duking it out for the affections of PointsBet’s (OTC: PBTHF) US operations. Talk about a plot twist!
The New York Post spilled the beans on this juicy corporate drama, revealing that DraftKings CEO and co-founder Jason Robins was none too pleased with the scuttled merger. Now, it seems he’s trying to make a point to Rubin by courting PointsBet US with a $195 million all-cash bid, outshining Fanatics’ modest $150 million offer.
But wait, there’s more! PointsBet is playing hard to get, demanding a “hell or high water” agreement from DraftKings. This means DraftKings must go through with the acquisition even if some state regulators give it the cold shoulder. The plot thickens as the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) might step in and potentially rule in favor of Fanatics, all in the name of not allowing DraftKings to hinder a smaller rival’s growth ambitions.
In the aftermath of DraftKings’ offer for PointsBet US, Rubin accused DraftKings of trying to block Fanatics from concluding the deal. He even questioned why DraftKings is so obsessed with Fanatics Betting & Gaming (FBG), which is currently just a small fish in the big pond of US sports betting.
So, what’s next in this corporate telenovela? Will DraftKings win PointsBet’s heart? Will Fanatics make a dramatic comeback? Or will they all just decide to play nice in the sandbox of the sports betting universe? Stay tuned!