Last month’s reverse merger of American online sports wagering innovator DraftKings Incorporated with iGaming technologies firm SBTech Malta Limited has reportedly transformed the founder of the latter firm into an instant billionaire.
According to a Monday report from Forbes.com, Israeli entrepreneur Shalom Meckenzie established SBTech Malta Limited in 2007 and was granted some 34.6 million shares as part of the recent amalgamation, which also involved a Friday public float. This 11% holding is purportedly now worth just over $1 billion after the newly-combined entity ended its first day of trading on the NASDAQ bourse with its shares being individually valued at $29.23.
Forbes.com reported that 43-year-old Meckenzie served as a director of SBTech Malta Limited until May of 2014 and helped to transform the company into one of the industry’s leading providers of online casino and sportsbetting platforms. The firm headquartered in the Valletta suburb of Is-Swatar now purportedly has some 1,200 employees at ten offices around the globe with its technology being utilized by an increasingly diverse range of horseracing companies, state lotteries and iGaming start-ups.
The recent merger, which moreover involved special purpose acquisitions firm Diamond Eagle Acquisition Corporation, reportedly also gave 43-year-old Meckenzie one of 13 seats on the newly-enlarged entity’s board. He has purportedly been joined on this decision-making body by the co-founders of DraftKings Incorporated, Matthew Kalish, Jason Robins and Paul Lieberman, as well as the millionaire creator of The Raine Group merchant bank, John Salter.
It was further reported that Salter was granted 8% of the shares in the newly-enlarged DraftKings Incorporated and saw his net worth subsequently rise by approximately $730 million as a direct result of Friday’s float. The Walt Disney Company is purportedly the third-largest investor courtesy of a 6% stake, which it holds through its 2019 acquisition of the international television and film assets of Twenty-First Century Fox, while even famed hedge fund tycoon George Soros holds some 2.7 million shares via his Quantum Partners vehicle.
Other major investors in the Boston-based daily fantasy sports provider are now reportedly thought to encompass the Kraft family, which owns the New England Patriots franchise of the National Football League (NFL), with its 3.5 million shares now said to be worth about $100 million. There is purportedly also the $43 million stake held by the firm behind the New York Knicks side of the National Basketball Association (NBA), The Madison Square Garden Company, and the 1.27% investment owned by venture capital concern Falcon Edge Capital.