FanDuel and Boston-based DraftKings to merge in 2017

Fantasy sports innovators to create a combine investing force and accelerate their path to profitability 

Tech firm FanDuel, which has offices in Edinburgh, Glasgow, New York, Los Angeles, and Orlando, is set to merge with Boston-based DraftKings to create a combined force to invest in strategic partnerships across the fantasy sports sector and boost profitabilty.
The merger of the two firms, which offer daily, weekly and season-long sports fantasy contests, will bring together two fantasy sports innovators to “better serve consumers.”
They say the operational efficiencies and cost savings expected to result from the merger will drive a greater focus on developing new products and features, including more variety in contest formats, loyalty programs, enhanced social functionality and ancillary sports-oriented content and experiences, all aimed at creating a more diverse, exciting and appealing experience for fantasy sports players and all sports fans.
The merger will also help the combined company accelerate its path to profitability.
According to FanDuel and DraftKings, the combined company will be able to invest in strategic partnerships across the sports ecosystem.
They say media, advertising and other partners will benefit from access to more products and customers as a result of DraftKings and FanDuel’s diverse user base and league relationships, as well as increased investment in advertising.
Together, the combined entity plans to accelerate growth of the fantasy sports category, drive broader and deeper fan engagement, and more efficiently reach those players.
DraftKings CEO Jason Robins said: “We have always been passionate about providing the best possible experience for our customers and this merger will help advance our goal of building a transformational global sports entertainment platform.
“Joining forces will allow us to truly realize the potential of our vision, and as a combined company we will be able to accelerate the pace of innovation and bring a richer experience to our customers than we ever could have done separately.”
Both FanDuel and DraftKings are still relatively new companies and operate in a rapidly evolving and changing space.
By combining and streamlining resources, DraftKings and FanDuel say they can accelerate work with government officials to continue to develop a standard regulatory framework. This framework will not only make it easier for the combined entity to thrive in the long-term, but will provide certainty and encourage other companies to make significant investments in the fantasy sports industry.
Emerging fantasy sports categories such as daily fantasy sports are just one component of a broader industry that has significant potential for sustained growth. Currently, there are 228 million fans of major sports in the U.S. and 57 million fantasy players.
FanDuel CEO Nigel Eccles said: “Being able to combine DraftKings and FanDuel presents a tremendous opportunity for us to further innovate and disrupt the sports industry.
“While both companies have accomplished much already, this transaction will create a business that can offer a greater variety of offerings, appealing to new users, including the tens of millions of season-long fantasy players that haven’t yet tried our products.”
At closing, DraftKings CEO Jason Robins will become CEO of the newly combined company and FanDuel CEO Nigel Eccles will become Chairman of the Board. In addition to the Chairman and CEO, the Board will be composed of three directors from DraftKings, three directors from FanDuel and one independent director.
The company will be co-headquartered in New York and Boston.
The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals.
FanDuel has been represented by Shepherd and Wedderburn and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati.
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