CPP-Backed Sports Gambling Firm in Deal Talks With Boehly SPAC

Swiss gambling data company Sportradar AG is in talks to go public through Todd Boehly’s special purpose acquisition company Horizon Acquisition Corp. II, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

A transaction value couldn’t immediately be learned. As with any deal that hasn’t been finalized, it’s possible terms change or talks fall apart. Representatives for Horizon Acquisition and Sportradar declined to comment. Shares in Horizon Acquisition Corp. II rose 28% in pre-market trading Wednesday.

Sportradar, led by Chief Executive Officer Carsten Koerl, counts Canada Pension Plan Investment, Revolution Growth, basketball star Michael Jordan and Mark Cuban among its backers. The National Football League invested in Sportradar in 2015 and in 2019, signing a multiyear deal for exclusive rights to distribute official NFL data to legal sports-betting operators in the U.S. and abroad.

Sportradar -- which says more than 1,000 companies rely on its data -- also has partnerships with the National Basketball Association, the International Tennis Federation, National Hockey League and Major League Baseball, among other organizations, according to its website.

The company generated 12-month adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization of 81 million euros ($98 million) on revenue of 395 million euros as of August last year, according to an October lender presentation seen by Bloomberg News.

Horizon Acquisition, which counts Boehly as its chairman and CEO, raised $525 million in an October initial public offering and said it would seek a target business operating in media and entertainment. The SPAC is sponsored by an affiliate of Eldridge Industries, a Greenwich, Connecticut-based investment firm founded by Boehly, an ex-Guggenheim executive who co-owns the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Other companies in sports betting, including Genius Sports and DraftKings Inc., have agreed to go public through mergers with SPACs.

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