Penn National Buys 36% Stake in Barstool Sports for $163m

  • Barstool Sports will be an exclusive partner of Penn National Gaming for the next 40 years
  • $135m paid in cash, $28m in convertible preferred stock
  • Deal expected to close by the end of Q1 2020
Penn National Gaming website
Penn National Gaming has secured a 36% stake in Barstool Sports in a deal worth in the region of $163m. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Betting big on new partner

Penn National Gaming has confirmed it is now in partnership with leading digital sports media publisher Barstool Sports. The casino company has purchased a 36% stake in the sports media company for around $163m in cash and convertible preferred stock.

The deal sees Barstool Sports become an exclusive gaming partner of Penn National Gaming for the next 40 years. This partnership also allows Penn National Gaming to use the Barstool Sports brand across its various retail and online sports betting offerings, as well as through its online casinos.

exclusive gaming partner of Penn National Gaming for the next 40 years

Penn National Gaming is currently the largest regional gaming operator in the United States, boasting 41 properties across 19 different states.

Response to “exciting partnership”

One of the first people to comment on this “exciting partnership” was Jay Snowden, CEO and president of Penn National. He said: “With its leading digital content, well-known brand and deep roots in sports betting, Barstool Sports is the ideal partner for Penn National and will enable us to attract a new, younger demographic, which will nicely complement our existing customer database.”

Snowden went on to talk about how the 66 million unique visitors the sports media site attracts each month will help to decrease advertising and customer acquisition costs across the board for Penn National. Ultimately, these savings will lead to higher profits and more shareholder value. 

Officials from Barstool Sports also shared their thoughts on the exciting deal. Dave Portnoy, founder of the sports media website, said: “Barstool Sports has a deep sports and gaming history and from the moment we met Jay and the Penn National team we knew this could be an exciting and game-changing partnership and we can’t wait to get started.”

A closer look at the figures

Penn National Gaming paid about $135m in cash and $28m in non-voting convertible preferred stock to secure a minority stake in Barstool Sports.

Following an initial three-year period, Penn National will then increase its position in the media company from 36% to 50%, with another investment of $62m promised at this time. This payment is based on the implied valuation at the time of purchase.

There are also exercisable call rights in place for Penn National, as well as put options for Barstool Sports shareholders from three years after the closing of this deal onwards. Penn National will also control two of the seven Barstool Sports board of directors seats.

Following the completion of this deal, 36% of Barstool Sports will belong to the Chernin Group and its affiliates. A 28% stake will be controlled by employees of Barstool Sports.