DraftKings is in talks to go public via a reverse merger

Photo: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

DraftKings is in talks to go public via a reverse merger with a blank-check acquisition company called Diamond Eagle, as first reported by Bloomberg and confirmed by Axios.

The state of play: If this sounds familiar, it's because Diamond Eagle's management had a prior blank-check company called Platinum Eagle that kicked tires on FanDuel (which was later acquired by Paddy Power Betfair).

  • DraftKings and FanDuel had once agreed to merge, but were blocked by federal antitrust regulators.
  • Diamond Eagle, led by veteran media executive Jeff Sagansky and aided by former MGM CEO Harry Sloan, raised $350 million in its IPO earlier this year. DraftKings hit a peak valuation of around $2 billion in 2015, but later pulled back.
  • Diamond Eagle is currently the clubhouse leader for DraftKings, but word is that there also have been discussions with other strategic and private equity suitors. Not yet hearing anything on price. Expect resolution of some sort by year-end.

Go deeper: DraftKings CEO Jason Robins on Axios' Pro Rata Podcast

What's next

Private equity on defense in Washington

What's believed to be the first congressional hearing in recent years squarely focused on the practices of private equity firms is happening later this morning.

Why it matters: Private equity is facing "the most serious political challenge it has seen in years," per the WSJ.

Go deeperArrowNov 19, 2019 - Business

Report: Walgreens in talks to be acquired

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Walgreens Boots shares were briefly halted on Tuesday afternoon, following a Reuters tweet suggesting the pharmacy giant is in talks to be acquired by private equity firms.

Background: The company is no stranger to private equity. KKR bought Alliance Boots in 2007 in what was, at the time, the largest-ever European buyout, and years later it sold it to Walgreens.

The rockstar allure of private money

A tech conference. Photo: Pedro Fiúza/NurPhoto via Getty Images

LISBON — The public stock market is doing pretty well, on the face of things. The S&P 500 is at record highs, European stocks are surging, and a slew of multibillion-dollar companies have IPO'ed this year, raising billions of dollars in fresh capital. But private markets still seem to be much more alluring.

What we’re seeing: I'm in Lisbon this week, attending the Web Summit for the first time. The clear message being sent: Private markets are more attractive than ever.