Entain has completed its purchase of Tiidal Gaming NZ, owner of esports betting developer Sportsflare, for CA$13.2m (£7.9m/€9.2m/US$9.9m). .

By acquiring Sportsflare, Entain will expand its offering to include a range of popular betting products optimized for esports. These include a bet builder – which Sportsflare says is the only solution of its kind for esports – as well as micro markets and a solution that allows gamers to bet on their own performance.

Entain completed the deal in March and will acquire all of the supplier’s issued and outstanding shares.

The purchase price will be retained by Tiidal for 180 days. During this time, Tiidal will be able to access the funds to make any working capital adjustments. Tiidal may also access 20% of the funds at any time to pay reasonable costs related to the business.

Upon completion of the transaction, Tiidal granted its CEO 2,500,000 Restricted Share Units as part of his employment agreement. In addition, 1,910,700 common shares were issued to Sportsflare employees.

Following these offerings, Tiidal had 87,603,908 shares issued and outstanding.

When the deal was first announced, Tiidal CEO Thomas Hearne said that Sportsflare “will be an excellent fit with Entain’s strong presence in the industry,” adding that the deal will “maximize value for Tiidal’s shareholders.”

Entains esports investments

The completion of this deal builds on Entain’s recent moves in the esports space.

In December last year, the company relaunched Unikrn, the esports betting brand it acquired in October 2021. As part of the transaction, Entain acquired Unikrn’s technology and its esports betting platform.

At the time, Entain said it aimed to launch Unikrn in other regulated markets.

In March of this year – two weeks after announcing its acquisition of Tiidal – Unikrn agreed to a multi-year partnership with Blast, another esports entertainment company. This partnership saw Unikrn appear in Blast’s event coverage and promotions.

Entain’s M&A activities

Entain supports its esports plans with investments in breakthrough technologies through its innovation center Ennovate. The London-based hub is investing £100 million in virtual reality and blockchain solutions, with £40 million going to UK companies.

The core business of real money gambling is growing through targeted regional acquisitions. Entain is accelerating growth in the Netherlands with BetCity and in the Baltics with Enlabs.

In Eastern Europe its presence grew through the takeover of Croatia Super Sport. The operator is working with the Czech investment fund Emma Capital to find further offers in the region.

Last week Entain updated the market on two recent M&A deals – Tab NZ and 365scores. Entain entered into a 25-year partnership with Tab NZ last month, while plans to buy subsidiary 365scores were announced in April.