Flutter Confirms Delay to FanDuel Spin-off as Fox Legal Battle Continues

  • Flutter confirmed in March that it was considering a public listing for FanDuel
  • A company source has said plans to spin off the company, valued at $18bn, will wait until 2022
  • Flutter is currently facing a lawsuit from Fox Corporation over the valuation of FanDuel shares
  • In May, FanDuel’s market share rose above 50% in the US, putting it ahead of rival DraftKings
FanDuel logo on a smartphone and in the background
Amid an ongoing legal battle with Fox Corporation, Flutter Entertainment has reportedly confirmed it intends to push back plans for a FanDuel public listing until 2022. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Pushed back to next year

International bettting giant Flutter Entertainment has confirmed that it will delay plans to take its US-focused gambling operator FanDuel public.

Rumors first arose of a potential FanDuel spin-off in March this year. In response to a CNBC report at the time, Flutter confirmed that its options included “the listing in the US of a small shareholding in FanDuel.” The company owns a 95% stake in FanDuel after acquiring an additional 37.2% stake last December.

a FanDuel spin off will now have to wait until 2022

As reported by The Telegraph on Monday, an unidentified company source has reportedly confirmed that a FanDuel spin-off will now have to wait until 2022. The news comes amid an ongoing legal battle between Flutter and Fox Corporation related to a buyout option for FanDuel shares.

The unidentified source also confirmed that Flutter’s estimated valuation for FanDuel stands at around $18bn.

Fox creating issues

Although Flutter has described a FanDuel public listing as a real possibility since March, the company could have some issues carrying the plan through because of its dealings with Fox Corporation. The firm currently has a 2.5% ownership stake in FanDuel and has an option to acquire 18.5% more of the betting operator.

In April, Fox filed a lawsuit against Flutter related to the purchase option. Fox intended to acquire the stake at the same value that FanDuel had purchased its additional 37.2% holding in December 2020. Flutter, however, argued that the company was now worth much more, increasing the price to reflect this.

According to The Telegraph, sources at Fox Corporation believe that Flutter will not be able to go through with the FanDuel public offering at all because of the ongoing legal battle. Flutter CEO Peter Jackson has reportedly denied this claim.

The departure of FanDuel CEO Matt King also poses an issue for the proposed spin-off. The executive will supposedly leave the company in the next two weeks, having announced his resignation earlier this year. In announcing his decision to leave, the company confirmed that the move would affect the timing of the listing.

A dominant market share

A recent report from Daniel Stone, head of data content at Gambling Compliance, has suggested that FanDuel’s share in the US market is growing fast. Stone has estimated that FanDuel’s national online market share rose to 50% in May of this year, putting it ahead of its nearest competitor DraftKings. That’s up from 36% in the first quarter of 2021 and 39% in 2020.

FanDuel is active in ten states across the US

FanDuel’s 2020 revenue also surpassed all of its sports betting rivals at $967m, beating DraftKings by more than 50%. Currently, FanDuel is active in ten states across the US, most recently launching its sportsbooks in Illinois and Indiana in April.

Commenting in a note earlier this year, Matias Dorta, analyst for Roundhill Investments, predicted that the upcoming football season could prove particularly profitable for FanDuel. He said: “FanDuel continues to outperform, and the timing couldn’t be better. US sports betting is gearing up for what is likely to be the most bet-on football season in history, and FanDuel is positioning itself for a big win.”