Jan 29, 2020 - Economy & Business

Gambling operator Penn National buys $163 million stake in Barstool Sports

A Barstool bus
Photo: Adam Glanzman/Getty Images

Penn National Gaming has agreed to buy a 36% stake in Barstool Sports for $163 million — a deal that values the company at $450 million.

Why it matters: With the gaming industry rushing to capitalize on the coming online sports betting boom, this deal joins an operator of 41 gambling properties in 19 states with a sports and lifestyle brand focused on young men.

  • Penn National will buy the 36% stake in cash and stock, and three years later, it will pay another $62 million to bring its stake to 50%, per the Wall Street Journal.

What they're saying: "It's a stunning deal for the digital media industry, coming as many publishers are retrenching after a round of ultimately disappointing Facebook-fueled optimism and investment," writes Vox's Peter Kafka.

  • "And it's a big payoff for the Chernin Group, which had reportedly invested some $25 million to buy controlling stakes in Barstool in 2016 and 2018."

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