Stars Group shareholders back Flutter merger

Paddy Power owner’s bid to create betting giant clears key hurdle

The newly merged entity will be based in the Republic. Photograph: PA Wire

The newly merged entity will be based in the Republic. Photograph: PA Wire

 

Paddy Power owner Flutter Entertainment’s bid to create a global gambling giant cleared a critical hurdle on Friday when shareholders in rival The Stars Group voted to merge with the Irish business.

Flutter and Toronto-based Stars plan on joining forces to create a betting business with more than 10 million customers, according to some estimates.

Stars Group confirmed on Friday that 99.99 per cent of shareholders backed the merger with Flutter on Friday.

Flutter investors already backed the all-share deal in a poll earlier this week.

The Stars Group vote leaves the transaction subject to approval by competition regulators in Australia and Pennsylvania in the US before it can go ahead.

Those regulators are likely to decide in coming weeks. If they approve the merger, Flutter and Stars Group can complete the transaction.

The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission in the Republic and the equivalent authority in the UK have already said they will allow the deal.

Headquarters

The merged entity will be headquartered in the Republic. Flutter’s chief executive, Peter Jackson, and chief financial officer, Jonathan Hill, will take the same roles at the enlarged group.

The business will have operations here, in the UK, Europe, Australia, the US, Canada and several other countries and regions around the world.

Flutter also owns betting exchange, Betfair, Fanduel in the US and Sportsbet in Australia.

The Stars Group owns Skybet, Full Tilt Poker, Poker Stars and several other on-line betting businesses.