Paddy Power leads FTSE higher on USA swoop

Paddy Power leads FTSE higher on USA swoop

The move comes in the immediate wake of a US Supreme Court ruling which this week struck down a federal law that has severely restricting sports betting there since 1992.

Many analysts believe London-listed firms are well placed to grab a slice of the USA market, where some estimates say almost $150bn (£111bn) in illegal wagers are placed every year.

Paddy Power Betfair has confirmed it is in talks to buy or merge with United States fantasy sports website Fanduel as UK betting firms prepare to cash in on the end of a nationwide ban on gambling across the pond.

The Dublin-based company said in the announcement that no deal was certain amid the ongoing negotiations. The decision paves the way for all 50 states to legalize and regulate sports betting through state legislation.

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FanDuel, a fantasy-sports betting site, was founded in 2009 in Texas, according to its website.

On Monday, following the Supreme Court decision, FanDuel said: "The Supreme Court's decision, which paves the way for states to legalise sports betting, creates an enormous opportunity for FanDuel as our platform, brand and customer base provide a unique and compelling foundation to meaningfully participate". Berenberg Bank downgraded shares of Paddy Power Betfair to a "sell" rating and set a GBX 7,600 ($103.09) price objective on the stock.in a research report on Thursday, January 11th. FanDuel, on the other hand, is a popular U.S. brand with a large number of members, so the deal would put PPB in a position of strength. This is an increase from Paddy Power Betfair's previous dividend of $65.00. Earlier today, the company itself confirmed the rumoured deal, saying that it is now in merger talks with FanDuel.

FanDuel is backed by private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, Google Capital and NBC Sports Ventures.

FanDuel grew to become one of two Scots unicorns, with a $1 billion valuation, alongside Skyscanner.

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