Penn National/Barstool Sportsbook Acquires theScore for $2 Billion; Stock Up Big at Market Close

Penn National/Barstool Sportsbook Acquires theScore for $2 Billion; Stock Up Big at Market Close article feature image
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Brett Carlsen/Getty Images. Pictured: Barstool flag

Penn National, owner of Barstool Sportsbook, announced Thursday that it had entered into an agreement to acquire theScore for $2 billion in cash and stock.

“theScore’s unique media platform and modern, state-of-the art technology is a powerful complement to the reach of Barstool Sports and its popular personalities and content,” said Jay Snowden, president and CEO of Penn National, in a statement.

The market didn’t love the deal initially. Penn beat second quarter earnings soundly, but shares opened down 6.5 percent at $61.91, less than half what the stock was worth at its high in March. It later rebounded and was up 5.0 percent around 11 a.m. ET. It was up big just two hours later to $72.50, a 9.45 percent increase.

At market close, Penn closed a successful day up 9 percent.

theScore has existed as a scores app since 2007 and has more than 4 million monthly users in that product. It launched its sportsbook in the fall of 2019, which is available in Indiana, Iowa, Colorado and New Jersey. Analysts estimate 2022 fiscal revenues for theScore will be $85 million, meaning Penn paid nearly 24 times that for this deal.

Snowden said the acquisition of theScore, which is based in Canada, was partly driven by a “state-of-the-art player account management system” and an “in-house managed risk and trading service platform.”

theScore will be operated as a standalone business and continue to be based in Canada.

While theScore has built those products, it is not known how impressive they are, as they rolled them out just this month.

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Many in the industry believed Penn and Barstool had to make a move, as Barstool’s huge media platform allowed it to build impressive market share at first, but saw a decline in almost every state it entered over time.

theScore is very much like Barstool in that it is a media company first that integrates its betting product within its content and audience engine. Third quarter revenue for the brand was only $8.9 million, with media revenue surpassing sportsbook revenue.

The brand had an average monthly reach of approximately 172 million users across Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and TikTok achieved an in the last three months reported.

theScore’s biggest handle was $30.8 million in March and it’s penetration in the U.S. has been unremarkable. It does, however, offer a huge jump start on Canada, which legalized betting on single sporting events last month.

Barstool’s podcast ‘Spittin’ Chiclets’ is the No. 1 podcast in Canada.

Penn shares hit a high close of $130.47 on March 8. Shares closed on Wednesday at almost half that number at $66.24. As of 8:15 am ET, shares were down 1.87 percent in pre-market trading.

Penn National generated revenues of $1.55 billion for the second quarter announced Thursday, beating analysts estimates by 32 cents a share.

In a presentation on Thursday morning, Penn National revealed that bettors that connect theScore’s content app with its betting app generate 88 percent more handle.

Jay Snowden said, in a conference call Thursday morning, that Penn will have Barstool Sportsbook in at least five more states by the end of the year, bringing the total to around 10 states.

Plans also include to be the official sports betting partner of the fight between Tyron Woodley and Jake Paul. Barstool sports bars are also planned in Philadelphia and Chicago. Digital slots and table games are also in the works.

theScore is the No. 1 sports media brand in Canada, according to Comscore based on monthly unique users and No. 3 behind ESPN and Yahoo in North America at large.

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