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Playmaker acquires Yardbarker in $24m deal


Digital sports media company Playmaker has acquired Yardbarker, a digital media property focused on publishing sports and entertainment news and information in a deal worth up to $24m.

Playmaker said the acquisition represents an integral pillar in its growth ambitions and significantly increases its US market presence, immediately adding Yardbarker’s more than 4 million unique monthly users and 350,000 daily newsletter subscribers to its audience.

Yardbarker offers content focused primarily on NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL and college sports, and its core editorial focus is to create and surface timely, engaging and relevant news and analysis to its users.

The platform publishes over 25,000 full-text articles per month, through a combination of its in-house editorial team and 125+ content syndication partner sites, while augmenting its traditional coverage with a collection of over 5,000 sports and entertainment quizzes and slideshows.

Yardbarker’s daily email newsletter, The Morning Bark, reaches over 350,000 subscribers and has an open rate of over 25%. The newsletter features a top 10 rundown of each day’s most important stories, and a customizable newsfeed that allows users to track their favorite sports and teams.

Pursuant to the terms of a letter of intent dated June 7, and a purchase agreement dated July 26, Playmaker acquired 100% of Yardbarker for an aggregate consideration of up to $24m.

The purchase price consideration consisted of a $10m cash payment and the issuance of $8m in Playmaker common shares.

An additional $2m of Playmaker common shares is to be issued to the sellers upon Yardbarker achieving minimum earnings before interest, tax, amortization and depreciation (EBITDA) of $1.5m within the 12-month period following closing.

Further payments of up to $2m will be payable to the sellers based on Yardbarker’s performance toward an EBITDA target of $2.5m in each of the two years following closing.

The initial shares were priced at the equivalent of CAD$0.55 per share, and contingent shares will be priced at the greater of CAD$0.60 per share or the trailing 30-day average volume adjusted share price of the common shares of Playmaker.

Playmaker said for the 2021 calendar year, Yardbarker is expected to generate revenue of approximately $5m. It added that the company’s three current owners, Jeff Kloster, Mark Johns and Ben Maggin, bring deep experience and knowledge of the digital sports media arena to the Playmaker senior leadership team.

“We believe that Playmaker is in the process of building the next great collection of digital sports assets and we couldn’t be more excited to be joining at this early stage,” said Yardbarker chief executive Ben Maggin.

“We look forward to working with the Playmaker team to continue expanding Yardbarker’s reach and deliver the best possible service to our fans.”

Jordan Gnat, founder and chief executive of Playmaker, added: “We are delighted to welcome Yardbarker to the Playmaker family. This is a US platform acquisition for us that is not only transformational, but also immediately financially accretive to our shareholders.”