FanDuel parent Flutter considers U.S. stock listing

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In this photo illustration the FanDuel logo of a sports betting company is seen on a smartphone.

Pavlo Gonchar| Lightrocket | Getty Images

FanDuel parent Flutter Entertainment said Tuesday it is considering listing on a U.S. stock exchange.

The company said its board is consulting with shareholders to gauge their interest.

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The development comes two days after a record Super Bowl for betting. FanDuel said it accepted 50,000 bets per second at its peak, averaging 2 million active users on its platform during the game.

FanDuel is the nation’s sports betting market leader and is on track for full-year profitability in 2023, according to the company. Its $3 billion in annual revenue makes up the biggest segment of Flutter’s overall business. The company also owns Paddy Power and Betfair, well-known gambling platforms internationally.

Flutter is based in Ireland, and its stock is traded in Europe. A U.S. listing would also expose Flutter to new American investors. Jefferies analysts said it would command a premium, “as market leader in the larger global online gambling market.”

Flutter said an additional listing in the U.S. would elevate its brand and help the company attract and retain talent. Flutter said a listing would provide liquidity and access to deeper capital markets.

“When DraftKings was trading near its all-time highs, there was significant pressure from Flutter shareholders to spin off FanDuel in a U.S. IPO,” said Lloyd Danzig, managing partner of Sharp Alpha Advisors, “to take advantage of the premium multiple that it appeared the market was placing on a US-based digital gaming business.”

When valuations and multiples plummeted, the speculation over a FanDuel IPO cooled.

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Jeffrey Kamys, chief investment strategist for the iBet ETF, said the decline hurt a lot of gaming companies that got lumped in with DraftKings. But he predicted that a public listing for FanDuel would lift the entire sports betting industry.

“FanDuel would be the Apple of our industry,” Kamys said. “It would be our top holding if they went public.”

In November, at an investor meeting in Manhattan, Flutter CEO Peter Jackson was asked about a potential FanDuel IPO in the U.S. He said there was more retail involvement and engagement in the U.S. markets. “It is one of the things that we consider when we look at the benefits that DraftKings have from their listing is that they have got a lot of their customers able to trade their stock.”

Jackson said Flutter was considering “listing of a small stake in the business and it would remain a controlled subsidiary.”

Tuesday’s announcement makes it clear the parent company is interested in taking advantage of a U.S. public listing, with markets heating up and the cost of capital elevated.

Sharp Alpha’s Danzig said “a U.S. listing is a perfectly sensible way to increase the company’s stature among U.S. investors and provide more robust access to capital to support growth initiatives.”

Flutter expects a lot more growth in the United States. It and puts the total addressable market at more than $40 billion by 2030. That would more than three times bigger than the rest of the world, according Jefferies.

“Flutter’s been the market share leader in the U.S. Getting stock credit for that is what the endeavor is all about,” Jefferies analyst David Katz told CNBC. He predicts a lift for all sports betting stocks if Flutter moves forward, as an expression of confidence in the industry which was pummeled in 2022.

Flutter cautioned that its consultation with shareholders is a preliminary step. If the company moves forward, it would need 75% shareholder support in a vote.

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