Highlight Sports activities and Racing Submit May very well be Offered in $500M Public sale


Posted on: November 1, 2021, 10:55h. 

Final up to date on: November 1, 2021, 12:24h.

Sports activities media group Highlight Sports activities, proprietor of main UK horse racing publication The Racing Submit, is up on the market, in line with Sky Information.

Racing Post
The Racing Submit, proven right here, has been a staple for UK gamblers for the previous 30 years, though it suspended its print version in the course of the cancellation of racing within the UK final yr. (Picture: Racing Submit)

The British broadcaster experiences that Highlight’s non-public fairness proprietor, Exponent, is in talks with funding banks a couple of doable public sale subsequent yr. Exponent desires $500 million for the media group, which additionally offers sports activities information feeds to the sports activities betting trade.

Exponent is raring to money in on the brand new urge for food for third-party information companies, largely pushed by the liberalization of sports activities betting legal guidelines in the US.

The demand for information noticed market leaders Sportradar and Genius Sports activities go public within the US earlier this yr, with valuations of $21 billion and $5.4 billion, respectively.

Highlight on Submit

Whereas The Racing Submit is the perfect identified of Highlight’s manufacturers, it may have an unsure future underneath a brand new US-focused proprietor, particularly in print kind. The newspaper is a staple for UK gamblers, who may be seen learning its pages religiously in betting retailers up and down the nation.

However Highlight CEO Adam Byrne instructed Bloomberg in mid-October that revenues had been hit arduous by the pandemic, which triggered the short-term suspension of racing and the closure of betting retailers. The 16 % fall in revenues in 2020 to $64.8 million ($89 million) was partly offset by digital development, he added.

The Submit suspended its print operations throughout final yr’s racing cancellations.

Initially a print media enterprise, Highlight now generates round 70 % of its revenues from its digital media and sports activities information companies.

Digital Development

The Racing Submit was launched in 1986 as rival to the now-defunct Sporting Life, a title that was in fixed publication from 1856 till its demise in 1998. Based by Dubai ruler and distinguished racehorse proprietor Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Submit has modified palms on a number of events within the intervening years.

Exponent acquired the title in 2016 for an undisclosed sum. The non-public fairness group has since focused on rising digital channels underneath the Highlight banner. These embody the web sites Free Tremendous Suggestions and MyRacing, and the US-focused sports activities betting ideas web site Pickwise.

Together with its sports activities information operations, subsidiary ICS Digital affords search-engine optimization, digital advertising and marketing, and translation companies for the betting trade.

Sheikh Al Maktoum owns the rights to The Racing Submit identify in perpetuity, which implies the title could possibly be revived if a brand new proprietor didn’t need it.

The sheikh can also be the founding father of the world’s largest horse racing staff, the Godolphin steady. He additionally owns the Darley Stud, the most important thoroughbred horse breeding operation on this planet.

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