Paddy Power owner Flutter may list quantity of Fanduel stock in US

Analysts regard Fanduel as Flutter’s prize asset because of subsidiary’s growth potential

Flutter is the Dublin-headquartered owner of Paddy Power and Betfair. File photograph: PA

Flutter is the Dublin-headquartered owner of Paddy Power and Betfair. File photograph: PA

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Irish betting giant Flutter says it is “considering” listing a small number of shares in its US subsidiary Fanduel but has not made a decision at this point.

The Clonskeagh, Dublin-headquartered owner of Paddy Power and Betfair was responding to speculation that it could spin off US business Fanduel by floating it in New York.

“Options including the listing in the US of a small shareholding in Fanduel are being considered but no decision has been made at this time,” said the company.

“Should a decision be made to proceed with a listing in due course, an announcement will be made as appropriate.”

Flutter explained that it regularly evaluates its organisational and capital structure.

The Irish group owns 95 per cent of Fanduel. It originally bought into the company to give itself a foothold in the US following a 2018 federal supreme court ruling there that ended widespread sports betting bans.

Flutter boosted its Fanduel stake to its current level when it bought out 37.5 per cent of the US business from Fastball Holdings for €3.4 billion in December.

Fastball’s shareholders were Capital G, the investment arm of Google owner Alphabet, Shamrock Capital, Comcast Ventures, KKR, Verizon Ventures and NBC Sports Group.

They own 7 per cent of Flutter as a consequence of the deal. Fox Sports, owner of 2.5 per cent of Flutter, has an option to buy a stake in Fanduel later this year.

In May 2020, Flutter merged with Toronto-listed rival The Stars Group, adding businesses such as Skybet and Pokerstars to a stable that already held Paddy Power, Betfair and Australia’s Sportsbet.

Why are investors frustrated?

Reports in the US media over the weekend quoted investor “frustration” that Flutter’s share price undervalues Fanduel relative to its listed US rival, Draftkings.

US market analysts regard Fanduel as Flutter’s prize asset because of the scope it offers for growth.

Flutter is using the business primarily to launch digital sports betting in individual US states as they legalise the practice, barred in most of them up to the May 2018 supreme court ruling.

States that have so far legalised sports betting include key population centres: New Jersey, Illinois, Pennsylvania and Michigan.

The Irish group’s shares closed at €184.50 in Dublin on Friday.

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