Stars Group Considers Merger

Amaya, best known for its parent company, The Rational Group, announced at the beginning of August 2017, that its planned rebranding as The Stars Group reached completion. At the same time, the company also launched its new website and revealed a fresh corporate logo marking the beginning of a new era in The Stars Group’s development.

The Stars Group

The group recently released its first financial report after the rebranding completion, and the financials showed considerable increases in key year-on-year performance indicators, encouraging the Canadian gambling giant to consider acquisition and merger opportunities further.

50.2% Increase in Sports Betting & Casino Growth

The Stars Group enjoyed an increase of 6.8% in revenue in the second quarter of the year raking in $305.3 million and an 8.4% increase to $622.5 million for the first half of the year. During the three month period ending on the 30th of June 2017, online poker revenue dropped by 5.9% to $202.9 million, while on the other hand sports betting and online casino revenue indicated an increase of 50.2% to $90 million. Further to this, the group managed to settle on a $4.9 billion acquisition of the Ration Group and subsequently considerably reduced its debt during the first half of 2017.

The group also relocated and with its new name, improved financial state and new headquarters in Toronto, Canada, announced that it is ready to pursue more business opportunities.
CEO, Rafi Ashkenazi shared in a conference call with analysts, that The Stars Group will mainly be interested in an acquisition within the sports and online casino niche. Since establishments were made as a leader in the online gambling industry, it seems that the most logical move would be to expand its sportsbook and casino business.

During last fall, merger talks between The Stars Group and William Hill focused on the potential of creating a gambling behemoth worth £5 billion with Omni-channel operations across several regulated jurisdictions. Due to the pressure of William Hill shareholder’s skepticism to link up with a company that has according to them, burdened under heavy financial pressure, the talks were never finalised.

To improve a struggling digital division, consolidation was also pursued by William Hill, although the gambling operator now claims that its business in the online industry has improved quite significantly. While almost a year since the Amaya merger consideration, William Hill also claims it has strengthened enough to face the ever-increasing competition and can endure regulatory challenges on its own in the gambling field. Since the Stars Group is new in the field, the long sports betting history of William Hill, as well as its experience in the sector, would be of great assistance, although the merger between the two groups failed due to the discontent from shareholders. For this reason, a merger between the UK bookmaker and The Stars Group is no longer on the books as a viable move.