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Paddy Power and Betfair owner to create 'world's biggest online betting firm'

Tom Belger
·Finance and policy reporter
CARDIFF, UNITED KINGDOM - FEBRUARY 23: A close-up of a Paddypower bookmakers shop sign on February 23, 2018 in Cardiff, United Kingdom. (Photo by Matthew Horwood/Getty Images)
Paddy Power and Betfair owner Flutter announced a new deal it said made it the world's biggest online betting firm. Photo: Matthew Horwood/Getty Images

Paddy Power and Betfair owner Flutter (FLTR.L) has announced plans to merge with Canadian rival The Stars Group, saying the deal would create the world’s biggest online betting and gaming firm.

The company, previously known as Paddy Power Betfair, said the new group will be based in Dublin, listing on the London Stock Exchange with a secondary listing on Euronext Dublin.

Shares in Flutter surged on the news, up 13.7% at around 8.35am in London.

Paddy Power and Betfair owner Flutter Entertainment has agreed a deal to buy Canadian rival The Stars Group to create the world’s largest online betting firm with combined annual revenues of £3.8 billion.

Flutter – previously called Paddy Power Betfair – said the merged group will be headquartered in Dublin and listed on the London Stock Exchange as well as on Euronext Dublin.

Flutter shareholders will only around 54.6% of the new company, while The Stars Group’s shareholders will own the rest.

It said the two groups’ combined revenue would have been £3.8bn in 2018, larger than any other gambling and gaming company worldwide.

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Flutter said the move would help the new group “maximise profitable growth” in its core markets of the UK, Ireland and Australia, as well as gaining ground in Spain, Italy, Germany and dozens of other countries.

It added that the merger could save £140m a year through “pre-tax cost synergies,” as well as lowering finance costs and reducing Flutter’s debts.

Flutter’s current chair and CEO will take up the same roles at the combined group, with The Star Group’s executive chair becoming deputy chair and its CEO becoming its chief operating officer.

Gary McGann, chair of Flutter, said: "This is an exciting and transformational combination that will bring together two strong, complementary businesses to create a global leader in the fast-growing online sports betting and gaming industry.”

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