American casino operator, Penn National Gaming Incorporated, is reportedly set to sign a deal later today that will see it spend some $163 million so as to acquire a substantial interest in digital media publisher Barstool Sports Incorporated.
According to a report from The Wall Street Journal newspaper, the agreement values Barstool Sports Incorporated at approximately $450 million and is to involve the casino firm handing over around $135 million in cash as well as shares worth about $28 million in exchange for a 36% stake in the Boston-headquartered enterprise.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Barstool Sports Incorporated was established by entrepreneur, Dave Portnoy, in 2003 and is responsible for producing a wide range podcasts, blogs, live events and social media content dealing with the nascent American sportsbetting market. Although the concern initially launched as a gambling newspaper, it later purportedly moved online and last year premiered its mobile-friendly BarstoolBets.com domain featuring a range of editorial content alongside a selection of free-to-play sports games.
Citing sources close to the planned deal and the newspaper reported that the arrangement will see American investments giant The Chernin Group, which purchased a controlling 60% stake in Barstool Sports Incorporated in 2016, reduce this interest to about 36%. The publication detailed that the alliance is to additionally involve employees of the Massachusetts digital media firm including Portnoy and Chief Executive Officer, Erika Nardini retaining a collective 28% share.
The Wyomissing-based Penn National Gaming Incorporated is subsequently hoping that its newly-acquired stake will allow it to steer a large proportion of the publisher’s audience of some 66 million readers towards its own estate of 41 gambling properties in 19 states. The casino firm is moreover purportedly developing an online sportsbetting app and the alliance is set to give it the ability to exploit marketing opportunities at events run by Barstool Sports Incorporated.
Should this relationship prove advantageous over the course of the next three years and the newspaper reported that the coming agreement is to also give Penn National Gaming Incorporated the ability to buy an additional 14% stake in Barstool for $62 million to take its total interest beyond 50%. From there and the casino firm will soon purportedly have further options that could see it eventually assume full ownership of the digital media publisher.