Sportradar Opts for Traditional IPO After SPAC Deal Fizzles

By | August 18, 2021

Sports betting data provider Sportradar AG filed plans today with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for an initial public offering (IPO).

Sportradar IPO
A Sportradar exhibition at a gaming convention. The company filed for an IPO. (Image: Market Realist)

The Form F-1 filing was revealed just over two months after the Swiss firm and special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) Horizon Acquisition Corp. II (NYSE: HZON) scrapped talks for a transaction that would have paved the way for Sportradar to go public.

The number of shares to be offered and the price range for the offering have not yet been determined. Sportradar intends to list its common stock on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the ticker symbol ‘SRAD,’” according to a statement issued by the Gallen, Switzerland-based company.

J.P. Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup and UBS Investment Bank are acting as lead book-running managers for the offering while BofA Securities, Deutsche Bank Securities, Jefferies and Canaccord Genuity will serve as additional joint book-running managers.

The F-1 didn’t include a date for the Sportradar IPO.

Obvious Template for Sportradar

Rumors regarding a Sportradar IPO surfaced over a year ago with speculation swirling that the company could seek a valuation of $10 billion to $12 billion.

That’s a hefty range for a blank-check transaction, but it was reported as recently as March that Sportradar and Horizon Acquisition II were close on a $10 billion deal. Sportradar was valued at $2.4 billion in private markets in 2018.

It remains to be seen what valuation Sportradar commands in its IPO, but its nearest rival, Genius Sports (NYSE:GENI), was valued at $1.5 billion in its merger with SPAC dMY Technology Group, Inc. II. Genius has a market capitalization of $3.19 billion.

Sportradar clients include FIFA, Major League Baseball (MLB), NASCAR, the NBA, and the NHL.

Sportradar IPO Test of Investor Enthusiasm

Regardless of size, the Sportradar IPO will test investors’ confidence in newly public companies with ties to sports wagering. While data confirm the growth of the US sports wagering market, plenty of recent IPOs in the space are floundering, though many are de-SPACed companies.

Likewise, some market participants are expressing doubt about the long-term prospects for companies like Genius Sports and Sportradar. In a recent report on Genius, short seller Spruce Point Capital Management said the company is no more than a middle man, that it doesn’t do much to differentiate itself from rivals and that’s at the mercy of leagues when it comes to pricing.

Investors that are bullish on the sports betting data space contend that as regulated sports wagering grows, sportsbooks will be compelled to pay up for the premium data offered by Genius and Sportradar and that the companies are tethered to what could be exponential growth in the in-game wagering market.

One thing is clear. Sportradar’s cadre of well-known investors, including the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) and private equity firm TCV, and three NBA owners — Mark Cuban of the Dallas Mavericks, Michael Jordan of the Charlotte Hornets, and Ted Leonsis of the Washington Wizards — will likely make money on the IPO.

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