May 26, 2020 - Economy

International sports streamer DAZN resumes talks about equity stake

DAZN microphone

Photo by Soeren Stache/picture alliance via Getty Images

DAZN is looking to raise money, the FT reports. The company was trying to raise $500 million last year, but according to a source familiar with the company's plans, those efforts were put on hold at the beginning of the pandemic.

Why it matters: The four-year-old international sports streamer was plotting a major international expansion prior to the pandemic, and was looking to use new funds to help secure high-end sports rights.

  • Now, according to the source, the company is beginning to resume talks to find an equity partner that would take a minority stake in the company.

Details: When the pandemic hit in early March, sources say that DAZN reached out to Goldman Sachs, which was helping the company raise money, to pause any new fundraising efforts. Its partnership with Goldman was first reported by Bloomberg in October.

  • It recently signaled to Goldman Sachs that it wanted to resume that effort, as more leagues begin to plan returning with precautions.
  • Some eager parties have come forward with offers to buy the company outright, but sources say that the company's billionaire owner Len Blavatnik isn't looking to sell the company. Rather, he feels more confident now moving forward again with plans to pursue a minority equity partner.

Between the lines: With most live sports on hold, sources say the company's cash position has remained stable, but its revenue and subscription numbers are expected to be down.

  • DAZN made waves in March when it began telling sports leagues that payments for upcoming seasons should be deferred until the leagues know when sports will actually resume.
  • Because it's not paying as much to leagues right now to broadcast content, and it's not paying as much to market content, it's not burning as much cash as it expected to this year.
  • Still, DAZN has a long way to go before becoming a profitable business.
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