Canadian online casino operator The Stars Group Incorporated has announced that its board of directors has unanimously approved a deal that will see it acquire British rival Sky Betting and Gaming from current owners CVC Capital Partners and Sky.

Toronto-listed The Stars Group Incorporated is already responsible for virtual brands such as PokerStars and FullTilt and revealed that the agreement to purchase Sky Betting and Gaming is expected to close during the third quarter of the year following a cash payment of $3.6 billion alongside the issuance of $1.1 billion in new common shares.

The Stars Group Incorporated additionally explained that its completion of the purchase, which is set to create the globe’s largest listed iGaming operator, remains conditional upon the receipt of approvals from the Nasdaq and Toronto Stock Exchange as well as certain gaming and regulatory authorities.

Rafi Ashkenazi, Chief Executive Officer for The Stars Group Incorporated, declared that the acquisition of Sky Betting and Gaming represents ‘a landmark moment’ in his firm’s history and will complement its own ‘industry-leading poker platform’.

“Sky Betting and Gaming operates one of the world’s fastest growing sportsbooks and is one of the United Kingdom’s leading gaming providers,” read a Saturday statement from Ashkenazi. “Following this transaction, The Stars Group Incorporated will have significantly enhanced scale and a highly-regarded global brand portfolio. As a result, we are well positioned to realize our vision of becoming the world’s favorite iGaming destination.”

Toronto-headquartered The Stars Group Incorporated stated that the purchase of Sky Betting and Gaming is set to provide it with ‘multiple operational and financial benefits’ including ‘an increased presence in regulated markets’ such as the United Kingdom. It additionally proclaimed that the deal will help it to further diversify its sources of revenue as the majority of its target’s takings currently come from sportsbetting.

The Canadian firm furthermore stated that it intends to utilize Sky Betting and Gaming’s offerings post-purchase as ‘a second low-cost customer acquisition channel’ for its own core online poker services via effective cross-selling ‘across multiple verticals’.

“We are delighted to join forces with The Stars Group Incorporated,” read a statement from Richard Flint, Chief Executive Officer for Leeds-based Sky Betting and Gaming. “This transaction allows us to offer our best-in-class products to a truly global audience. We’re excited about our future together.”