DraftKings’ surprise $195 million bid to acquire PointsBet’s U.S. business received a significant boost Monday as PointsBet’s board of directors said the offer “could reasonably be expected to lead to a superior proposal.”
Three days after DraftKings made the bid — in the process looking to outflank a rival, $150 million buyout offer from Fanatics — PointsBet said its initial review found that the DraftKings proposal warrants additional investigation.
“The board is prepared to engage with DraftKings,” wrote Brett Paton, PointsBet’s non-executive chairman, in a letter to DraftKings chairman and CEO Jason Robins.
Paton’s letter also detailed specific protocols for due diligence since PointsBet currently competes with DraftKings, as well as PointsBet’s intent to have DraftKings pursue a “hell or high water” standard in seeking antitrust and other regulatory approvals.
Since DraftKings’ offer is currently non-binding, Paton said the PointsBet board “continues to recommend that PointsBet shareholders vote in favor of the [Fanatics] transaction.” But PointsBet is also requesting DraftKings send formal deal documents by June 27, a move that could further shift board sentiment toward DraftKings.
The Australia-based PointsBet previously scheduled a June 30 vote on the Fanatics deal, and the deadline made to DraftKings precedes that vote.
DraftKings’ move represents a rare speed bump for Fanatics, which has mushroomed beyond its sports merchandising origins into trading cards, international sales, collectibles auctions, content, and sports betting — all while building its company value to a stratospheric $31 billion.