UFC-owner Endeavor to buy sports betting firm OpenBet for $1.2 billion

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(C) Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The Endeavor Group Holdings Inc. (EDR) logo hangs from the New York Stock Exchange on the morning of its public listing at the NYSE in New York City, U.S., April 29, 2021. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

(Reuters) -Endeavor Group Holdings Inc, the owner of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, will buy sports betting firm OpenBet from Scientific Games (NASDAQ:SGMS) Corp for $1.2 billion in cash and stock, the companies said on Monday.

Endeavor, whose shares were up nearly 9% in extended trading, said the acquisition will strengthen its position in the sports betting industry. It comes at a time when the online gambling space has been seeing frenetic dealmaking.

Last week, British gambling firm Entain said it had received a takeover proposal from U.S. fantasy sports betting company DraftKings (NASDAQ:DKNG), valuing it at $22.4 billion.

Demand for online betting has boomed during the pandemic as customers took to playing from home when casinos and betting shops were off-limits.

The OpenBet deal, which is expected to close in the second quarter of 2022, will be financed through $1 billion in cash and $200 million worth of Endeavor’s Class A common stock, the companies said.

UFC-owner Endeavor to buy sports betting firm OpenBet for $1.2 billion

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