George Soros Wagers on Sports Betting With DraftKings Stake


(Bloomberg) -- George Soros has a $66 million stake in DraftKings Inc., one of several big-name investors to receive shares in the sports-betting company through a deal that took it public last month.

Quantum Partners, an investment vehicle run by Soros Fund Management, holds 2.7 million DraftKings Class A shares, according to a filing last week with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. A spokesman declined to comment on behalf of Soros Fund Management, which oversees investments on behalf of the 89-year-old philanthropist and his family.

DraftKings has expanded its investor base beyond the sports world as it competes in the growing market for legal online wagering. The company, which began in 2012 as a fantasy-sports platform, drew startup investments from Major League Baseball as well as Jerry Jones and Robert Kraft, owners of the National Football League’s Dallas Cowboys and New England Patriots, respectively, prior to the reverse merger last month with blank-check company Diamond Eagle Acquisition Corp.

Soros Fund Management, which oversees roughly $25 billion, has been investing more conservatively under Dawn Fitzpatrick, its chief investment officer since 2017. But the firm made at least one other opportunistic investment amid the coronavirus pandemic, disclosing last quarter that it held 2.7 million shares of Peloton Interactive Inc., the supplier of upscale stationary bikes and related online workout programs. The stock has since soared 58%, lifting the value of the stake to $117 million.

DraftKings is up 40% since the Boston-based company went public through a reverse merger on April 23. Mousse Partners, the family office that invests the Chanel fortune for the Wertheimers, holds $88 million in shares, the filing shows. Michael Gordon, a former money manager with Jeffrey Vinik’s hedge fund, has a stake of almost $20 million.

Kraft’s DraftKings holding is larger than that of his NFL rival, according to the filing. Kraft and his sons Jonathan and Daniel own 3.53 million shares while Legends Hospitality, an investment vehicle set up by the Cowboys and the New York Yankees, has 194,867.

Several owners of pro-basketball teams are also listed as investors in DraftKings for the first time.

Madison Square Garden Entertainment Corp., controlled by the Dolan family that owns the New York Knicks, indirectly has almost 1.5 million shares. Stephen Pagliuca, co-chairman of Bain Capital and a co-owner of the Boston Celtics, has about 566,000 shares through a partnership with Anastasios Parafestas, the head of Bollard Group.

Representatives for the investors either declined to comment or didn’t return telephone calls.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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