FanDuel and DraftKings bid to buy The Athletic

US betting companies FanDuel and DraftKings have reportedly submitted bids for subscription sports news group The Athletic, two months after it hired investment bank LionTree to explore its options.

FanDuel and DraftKings bid to buy The Athletic

The Athletic hired investment bank LionTree in September to explore possibilities of selling all or part of its business, probably prompted by the failure of its merger discussions with the New York Times and Axios.

In March, the Wall Street Journal reported that The Athletic had held merger discussions with Axios, but by May was reporting that the news group had “halted” those discussions in favour of a potential merger with the New York Times.

Talks between The Athletic and the New York Times over a merger broke down in June, resulting from a failure to agree over money and employee compensation.

The Athletic is reported to have over 1 million subscribers but has been unprofitable for the last two years, having lost $41 million in 2020 and $54 million in 2019. It forecasts $77 million in revenue and $35 million in net losses this year.

FanDuel and DraftKings have healthier balance sheets with FanDuel’s parent company Flutter Entertainment recording $902 million in revenue during the first half of the year whilst DraftKings’ revenue has grown 297% year after year to $298 million for this year’s second-quarter revenue.

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