Digital media giant theScore has secured a CAD$40m ($48.2m) cash injection from Fengate Asset Management, to be used to fund future expansion plans for its media and sports betting businesses.
The investment fund’s strategic investment would “significantly enhance” theScore’s ability to execute its sports betting strategy, founder and chief executive John Levy said.
“Fengate is recognized as a highly respected and experienced investor across North America, with significant expertise in the gaming industry,” he explained. “They are the perfect strategic investment partner as we launch our best-in-class mobile sportsbook in the United States.”
Per the agreement, Fengate will acquire a $40m unsecured loan in the business, which will accrue interest at a rate of 8% per year, and becomes repayable from 2024, with an option in place to convert the loan into Class A shares. The investment remains subject to approval from the TSX Venture Exchange.
“We are excited by the opportunity to be partnering with theScore and its entrepreneurial management team,” Fengate managing director for private equity Justin Catalano added.
“theScore’s unique ability to integrate sports betting into their industry-leading mobile sports media platform makes this investment a strong addition to our growing private equity platform investing across North America.”
It follows the launch of theScore’s sportsbook in New Jersey, where it is operating under Meadowlands Racetrack’s license. Through a deal with Penn National Gaming, it could also expand into a number of other states, with the partnership granting it first skin access in Louisiana and Mississippi.
theScore will also be able to launch second skins in Iowa, Indiana, Missouri, Ohio and Texas, as well as third skins in Kansas, Michigan, Maine and Massachusetts. In return Penn has taken a 4.7% equity interest in the business, worth USD$7.5m.
In related news, theScore has brought in gaming industry experience with the appointment of Alvin Lobo as its new chief financial officer.
Lobo was most recently the vice president of corporate finance at Boyd Gaming Corporation, and was previously director of corporate finance and investor relations at Wynn Resorts.
“Alvin’s considerable financial and gaming industry expertise further strengthens our team during a groundbreaking period of growth and expansion for theScore as we prepare to launch our mobile sportsbook,” Levy commented. “We’re thrilled to secure someone of his caliber to lead our finance team moving forward.”
Lobo added: “This is an exciting time to be joining a leading player in North American mobile sports media and gaming.
“theScore stands alone through its uniquely integrated approach to media and sports betting and I’m looking forward to playing a key role as the Company further grows and expands its core gaming and media businesses.”