Churchill Downs Inc. acquiring YouBet.com (US)

Churchill Downs Inc. acquiring YouBet.com, owners of United Tote

Louisville-based racetrack company Churchill Downs Inc. announced Wednesday it is acquiring major online betting platform operator Youbet.com in a deal valued at $126.8 million.

Youbet also owns United Tote, a leading provider of pari-mutuel tote services to racetracks such as Churchill Downs, Keeneland and the New York Racing Association tracks, and is the exclusive provider of live horse racing footage and results to ESPN.com and CBSSports.com.

“We believe this combination should enable us to accelerate the development of new technology-enabled features and services that horse racing customers who wager via the (advance-deposit wagering) channel want, and that can attract new customers to racing,” Robert L. Evans, Churchill Downs president and CEO, said in a news release. “We believe that the anticipated additional growth in our ADW channel handle and revenue, coupled with the expected cost synergies, make this transaction a good way to deliver additional value to CDI and Youbet shareholders.”

Customers of TwinSpires.com, Churchill’s present ADW platform, and California-based Youbet.com will be able to access accounts, make wagers and withdrawals just as they do now, according to the release.

Shareholders of Youbet (NASDAQ: UBET) will get a ratio of 0.0598 shares of Churchill Downs stock (NASDAQ: CHDN) plus 97 cents a share, according to the release. The transaction could be adjusted so Churchill does not have to issue more than 19.6 percent of its outstanding common stock; after the deal, Youbet.com shareholders are expected to own about 16 percent of Churchill Downs. Read full article >>

Why does this not sound like good news for the horses used in racing? How we wish they would spend some of those betting dollars on them.

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