Flutter shares advance on first day of Wall Street trading

Paddy Power parent has cancelled its Irish listing and now plans to have its main stock quotation on Wall Street

Shares in Flutter Entertainment moved higher on their first day of trading on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on Monday as the gambling giant seeks to get closer to investors in the home of its fast-growing business unit.

The company, which is parent to Paddy Power and Betfair on this side of the Atlantic, cancelled its Irish listing last week under a rejig of its stock market quotations. It currently has its primary stock listing in London, but said on Monday that its board believes that the NYSE is now the optimal location for its main listing, and that the transition “should be made as soon as practicable”.

This proposal will be put to shareholders as a special resolution at its annual general meeting in May, and, subject to approval, become effective during the summer. The hope is that the company will ultimately be included in big US stock market indices that are keenly followed by institutional investors.

Shares in the company gained as much as 3.4 per cent to $212 (€196.18) in early trading on Wall Street, but had given up much of their gains to trade up 1.1 per cent by lunchtime.


“With our NYSE listing effective today this is a pivotal moment for the group as we make Flutter more accessible to US-based investors and gain access to deeper capital markets,” said chief executive Peter Jackson.

Flutter, which initially outlined plans for a US listing almost a year ago, also maintains that the move should enhance its profile in the US, making it easier to recruit and retain staff in that market.

The Irish group moved within days of the US supreme court striking down a federal law banning sports gambling in May 2018 to take an initial stake in US fantasy sports website FanDuel. It now owns 95 per cent of the largest industry player in a country where sports gambling has been opening up on a state-by-state basis ever since.

“We believe a US primary listing is the natural home for Flutter given Fanduel’s No 1 position in the US, a market which we expect to contribute the largest proportion of profits in the near future.”

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FanDuel reached an important milestone in the first half of last year when it turned profitable, six months ahead of schedule.

Flutter’s US revenues rose 38 per cent last year to $3.6 billion to account for 37.8 per cent of group turnover.

US investment bank Jefferies analysts said in a note late last week that they believe the NYSE listing could be a short-term catalyst for Flutter.

Jefferies estimates the addressable US sports betting market is worth $37.5 billion. Flutter remains domiciled and tax resident in the Republic.

Joe Brennan

Joe Brennan

Joe Brennan is Markets Correspondent of The Irish Times