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Thursday, August 5, 2021

Scr Sold To Penn

 Penn National Gaming to Acquire Score Media and Gaming, Creating North America’s Leading Digital Sports Content, Gaming and Technology Company


Transaction fortifies Penn National’s bespoke digital media and gaming strategy, creating a complete one-stop destination

Addition of theScore's fully integrated betting and media platform into existing ecosystem will lead to best-in-class engagement and retention

Brings theScore’s cutting-edge technology in-house, providing Penn with full ownership of product roadmap

Establishes strong commitment to Canada; Levy Family will continue to oversee theScore, including workforce expansion and Ontario operations

Provides adjusted EBITDA accretion by Year 2, an incremental $200mm+ medium term adjusted EBITDA, and $500mm+ of incremental long term adjusted EBITDA upside

 

 

WYOMISSING, Penn. and TORONTO, Canada (August 5, 2021) - Penn National Gaming, Inc. (Nasdaq: PENN) (“Penn National” or the “Company”) and Score Media and Gaming, Inc. (TSX: SCR; Nasdaq: SCR) (“theScore”) announced today that they have entered into a definitive agreement whereby Penn National will acquire theScore, a leading digital media and sports betting and technology company, for approximately US$2.0 billion in cash and stock.

 

Under the terms of the agreement, theScore shareholders will receive US$17.00 in cash and 0.2398 shares of Penn National common stock for each theScore share, which implies a total purchase consideration of US$34.00 per theScore share based on Penn National’s 5-day volume weighted average trading price as of July 30, 2021.  The transaction has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both companies and is currently expected to close in the first quarter of 2022.  Upon completion of the transaction, current Penn National and theScore shareholders will hold approximately 93% and 7% respectively, of the Company’s outstanding shares. Penn National expects to fund the approximately US$1 billion cash portion of the consideration using existing cash on its balance sheet.

 

Jay Snowden, President and Chief Executive Officer of Penn National, commented, “We are thrilled to be acquiring theScore, which is the number one sports app in Canada and the third most popular sports app in all of North America.  theScore’s unique media platform and modern, state-of-the art technology is a powerful complement to the reach of Barstool Sports and its popular personalities and content.”  

 

Mr. Snowden continued, “We are now uniquely positioned to seamlessly serve our customers with the most powerful ecosystem of sports, gaming and media in North America, ultimately creating a community that doesn’t currently exist.  Users will enjoy a unique mobile sports betting and iCasino platform with highly customized bets and enhanced in-gaming wagering opportunities, along with highly engaging, personalized sports and entertainment content, and real time scores and stats.  We believe this powerful new flywheel will result in best-in-class engagement and retention.

 

“Importantly, the transaction provides us with a path to full control of our own tech stack.  theScore has developed a state-of-the-art player account management system and is finalizing the development of an in-house managed risk and trading service platform.  This should lead to significant savings in third party platform costs and allow us to broaden our product offerings – providing the missing piece for operating at what we expect to be industry leading margins.  In addition to the synergies, we’ll be gaining access to theScore’s deep pool of product and engineering talent and data-driven user analytics which will help drive our customer acquisition, engagement, retention strategies and cash flows,” said Mr. Snowden.

 

“Operators that have achieved early online market share have done so primarily through first mover advantage, leveraging existing customer databases and significant marketing spend.  We believe the long-term winners will be defined by best-in-class products, bespoke content, efficient customer acquisition, multi-platform reach and broad market access,” concluded Mr. Snowden.

 

John Levy, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of theScore, commented, “This deal brings together two companies that share a vision for how media and gaming intersect, and we could not be more excited to join the Penn National family. I’m proud of theScore team and all of our accomplishments, and believe the time is right to take the next step and align with a company in Penn National with the resources and scale to accelerate our business.  We are excited to join forces with Penn to form the most powerful media and gaming company in North America.

 

“We’ve built an innovative, technology-led integrated media and gaming business that has us poised for success across North America, including the highly anticipated upcoming rollout of commercial sports betting in Canada,” continued Mr. Levy.  “With Penn’s support, we will continue to invest in building our Canadian operations, growing our footprint and expanding our workforce.  On a personal note, Benjie and I are very much looking forward to continuing to head up theScore as part of the new combined company.

 

“We have been strategic partners with Penn National since 2019 and have come to realize that they have the same strong culture and appreciation for how to grow a business.  Jay and his team have done a tremendous job building an exceptional retail business and online gaming platform in partnership with Barstool Sports and we are confident that by combining our leading sports media brand and proprietary technology, we will solidify Penn National as a market leader,” concluded Mr. Levy.

 

Jon Kaplowitz, Head of Penn Interactive, commented, “This is a significant milestone for Penn Interactive and Penn National.  With the acquisition of theScore, we will have greater ability to innovate and offer a best-in-class product to our customers.  Personally, I am excited to join forces with John, Benjie, and the rest of theScore team who have proven to be great partners and amazing thought leaders in our industry.”

 

Benjie Levy, President and Chief Operating Officer of theScore, commented, “The combination of theScore and Penn National creates a first-of-its-kind vertically integrated media and omni-channel gaming business, which brings together world-class technology, highly engaging sports content and unparalleled reach. With our accomplished team in place, this deal bolsters our ability to grow our already strong North American presence from our base in Canada and primes us even further to capitalize on the huge upcoming betting opportunity in our home country. Over time, we’ve built our loyal user base and relationship with fans by authentically delivering deeply personalized products. That is an approach that seamlessly fits with Penn’s current strategy and digital offerings and will provide for material long-term benefits as we collaborate to even more deeply integrate across our platforms.

 

“The transaction will provide theScore with immediate scale and resources, the benefits of which will enable employees to better execute on the combined companies' business plan and deliver enhanced integrated product offerings to our customers,” continued Mr. Levy.  “The transaction also provides theScore shareholders immediate liquidity at a substantial premium and an opportunity to participate in any future upside of the combined company.”

 

Compelling Strategic and Financial Benefits:

Penn National anticipates that the acquisition of theScore will provide adjusted EBITDA accretion by Year 2, an incremental $200mm+ medium term adjusted EBITDA, and $500mm+ of incremental long term adjusted EBITDA upside.

 

Bringing Technology In-House:

The acquisition of theScore will allow Penn National to better manage all critical aspects of its technology stack, leading to greater control over its product development roadmap, reduced costs, and an enhanced customer experience. It will also allow Penn National to drive margin expansion by eliminating fees and expenses currently being paid to third party technology and service providers.

 

Strong Commitment to Canada:

Penn National believes the Canadian gaming market represents a compelling opportunity for growth. Penn National intends to operate theScore as a stand-alone business, headquartered in an expanded Toronto office, that will continue to be led by the Levy family with the same operating philosophy that has driven the company’s success to date. The business will continue to utilize ‘theScore’ app and brand that consumers have come to trust.

 

Penn National was attracted to theScore, in part, for its ready access to a deep pool of Canadian engineering and technology expertise. Penn National expects to leverage Canada’s world class technology talent pool to expand theScore’s engineering and production workforce based in Ontario as the business scales.

 

Volumetric Cost Savings:

The transaction will create a further scaled North American sports, online gaming and media business. This broader reach will provide volumetric savings for content fees, payment expenses, and other services, including the elimination of public company costs.

 

Enhanced Customer Acquisition and Retention:

theScore is the third largest sports app in North America and number one in Canada, with highly engaged users spending 113 minutes per month in-app*.  Early results show the power of theScore’s integrated media and betting ecosystem to better engage and retain users; theScore Bet users with theScore media app compared to theScore Bet users who do not have theScore media app produce 88% higher handle/user, place 3x the number of bets/user, and generate a 91% increase in day 30 retention**. This increased cross-promotion ecosystem between theScore and Barstool is expected to lead to higher revenue. 

 

Expansion Into New Verticals:

This acquisition underscores Penn National’s focused, disciplined investment strategy which positions us at the epicenter of sports, media, gaming and technology and provides us with multiple channels for future growth.  In addition, this transaction accelerates Penn National’s strategy to enter into other adjacencies that leverage the Barstool and theScore brands and consumer appeal, such as the highly coveted esports media vertical.

 

Financing:

Penn National will fund the acquisition through a mix of cash on hand and common stock.  We expect the transaction, at the time of close, to be leverage neutral to our lease-adjusted net leverage of 4.0x as of June 30, 2021.

 

theScore Shareholder Support

Penn National has entered into voting support agreement with the directors of theScore, John Levy and Benjamin Levy, and Relay Ventures, a significant shareholder of theScore, under which they have agreed, subject to certain termination rights, to vote all of the theScore shares held by them in favor of the transaction, which represents in total approximately 30 percent of the existing voting shares of theScore.

 

Advisors

Goldman, Sachs & Co. LLC and Code Advisors LLC are acting as financial advisors and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz and Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP are acting as legal advisors to Penn National in connection with the transaction. Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC and Canaccord Genuity Group are acting as financial advisors and Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP and McCarthy T├ętrault LLP are acting as legal advisors to theScore in connection with the transaction. Greenhill & Co. Canada, Ltd. is acting as independent financial advisor to theScore’s board of directors.

 

Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP is acting as legal advisor to the Levy Family in connection with this transaction.

 

Additional Transaction Details

theScore’s board of directors unanimously concluded that the transaction is in the best interests of theScore and recommend that theScore shareholders vote in favor of the transaction.

 

Greenhill & Co. Canada, Ltd. (“Greenhill”), independent financial advisor to theScore’s board of directors, has delivered a fairness opinion to theScore’s board of directors stating that, as of the date thereof and, based upon and subject to the assumptions, qualifications, and limitations stated in such opinion and such other matters Greenhill considered relevant, the consideration to be received by shareholders of theScore pursuant to the transaction is fair, from a financial point of view, to shareholders of theScore (other than the Levy family shareholders signing voting support agreements, Penn National and its affiliates). Pursuant to its engagement letter with theScore’s board of directors, Greenhill will receive a fixed fee for the delivery of the fairness opinion. No fees payable to Greenhill are contingent on the conclusions reached in the fairness opinion or on the outcome of the arrangement.

 

The transaction is structured as an arrangement under the Business Corporations Act (British Columbia) and is subject to customary closing conditions, including approval of the shareholders of theScore, the approval of applicable gaming authorities, the expiration or termination of the applicable waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act, approval under the Investment Canada Act and other customary closing conditions as set forth in the arrangement agreement. The transaction is not subject to any financing condition. theScore is subject to customary non-solicitation provisions under the arrangement agreement. The agreement also includes a termination fee payable in certain circumstances.

 

Eligible Canadian shareholders of theScore will be able to elect to receive exchangeable shares in a Canadian subsidiary of Penn National, which will be exchangeable into Penn National shares, instead of the Penn National shares to which they would otherwise be entitled.     

 

Shareholder Meeting Materials

Further information regarding the transaction will be included in an information circular to be mailed to theScore shareholders. A meeting of theScore shareholders is expected to be scheduled in mid-October to consider the transaction.     

 

PENN Second Quarter 2021 Earnings Results

In a separate press release issued today, Penn National announced its Second Quarter 2021 financial results. To access the earnings release, please visit here.

 

Conference Call and Webcast

Penn National and theScore will host a conference call and simultaneous webcast today, August 5, 2021 at 9:00 a.m. ET to review the transaction and host a question and answer session.  The conference call number is 212/231-2907; please call five minutes in advance to ensure that you are connected prior to the presentation.  Interested parties may also access the live call on the Internet at www.pngaming.com or theScore’s website at http://scoremediaandgaming.com; allow 15 minutes to register and download and install any necessary software.  Questions and answers will be reserved for call-in analysts and investors.  A replay of the call can be accessed for thirty days on the Internet at www.pngaming.com or theScore’s website at http://scoremediaandgaming.com. During the conference call and webcast, management will review a presentation summarizing the proposed transaction which can be accessed at www.pngaming.com.  

 

About Penn National

With the nation's largest and most diversified regional gaming footprint, including 43 properties across 20 states, Penn National continues to evolve into a highly innovative omni-channel provider of retail and online gaming, live racing and sports betting entertainment. The Company's properties feature approximately 50,000 gaming machines, 1,300 table games and 8,800 hotel rooms, and operate under various well-known brands, including Hollywood, Ameristar, and L'Auberge. Our wholly-owned interactive division, Penn Interactive Ventures, LLC, operates retail sports betting across the Company's portfolio, as well as online social casino, bingo, and iCasino products. In February 2020, Penn National entered into a strategic partnership with Barstool Sports, Inc. (“Barstool”) whereby Barstool will exclusively promote the Company's land-based and online casinos and sports betting products, including the Barstool Sportsbook mobile app, to its national audience. The Company's omni-channel approach is bolstered by the mychoice loyalty program, which rewards and recognizes its over 24 million members for their loyalty to both retail and online gaming and sports betting products with the most dynamic set of offerings, experiences, and service levels in the industry.

 

About theScore

theScore empowers millions of sports fans through its digital media and sports betting products. Its media app ‘theScore’ is one of the most popular in North America, delivering fans highly personalized live scores, news, stats, and betting information from their favorite teams, leagues, and players. The Company’s sports betting app ‘theScore Bet’ delivers an immersive and holistic mobile sports betting experience and is currently available to place wagers in New Jersey, Colorado, Indiana and Iowa. theScore also creates and distributes innovative digital content through its web, social and esports platforms.

Monday, May 3, 2021

Aphria and Tilray Close the Deal To Swallow Up ALL Aphria Shares at .8381

 Tilray’s Shares Will Continue Trading on the NASDAQ Under Symbol “TLRY”; Starting May 5, 2021, Tilray’s Shares Will Commence Trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange Under Symbol “TLRY”


NEW YORK & LEAMINGTON, Ontario -- (Business Wire)

Tilray, Inc. (“Tilray”) and Aphria Inc. (“Aphria”) today announced the completion of the previously announced business combination, ushering in a new era in the global cannabis industry. The combined company, which will operate as Tilray (the “Company”), brings together two highly complementary businesses to create the leading cannabis-focused consumer packaged goods (“CPG”) company with the largest global geographic footprint in the industryThe combined company had a market cap of approximately US$8.2 billion based on the closing stock prices on April 30, 2021.

The Company’s class 2 common stock (“Tilray Shares”) will continue to trade on the Nasdaq Global Select Exchange under the ticker symbol “TLRY” and will commence trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “TLRY” on May 5, 2021. As previously announced, each Aphria shareholder received 0.8381 of a Tilray Share for each Aphria common share (each an “Aphria Share”) held on April 30, 2021, the effective time of the transaction. Holders of Tilray Shares prior to the completion of the transaction continue to hold their Tilray Shares with no adjustment as a result of the transaction. An early warning report in respect of the Company’s acquisition of all of the outstanding Aphria Shares pursuant to the transaction will be filed on SEDAR and will be ‎available under Aphria’s issuer profile at www.sedar.com.‎

Irwin D. Simon, the Company’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, commented, “Our focus now turns to execution on our highest return priorities including business integration and accelerating our global growth strategy. Covid-19 related lockdowns have presented unique challenges across Canadian and German markets. As these markets begin to re-open, Tilray is poised to strike and transform the industry with our highly scalable operational footprint, a curated portfolio of diverse medical and adult-use cannabis brands and products, a multi-continent distribution network, and a robust capital structure to fund our global expansion strategy and deliver sustained profitability and long-term value for our stakeholders.”

Mr. Simon continued, “Our global team is laser-focused on turning potential into performance and addressing consumer and patient needs for safe, innovative, and high-quality products. We are eager to get to work and want to thank both the Aphria and the Tilray Boards of Directors and especially Brendan Kennedy for his spirit of partnership and irrepressible belief in the art of ‘what’s possible.’ We will benefit enormously from his legacy and continued service on the Tilray Board.”

We expect that the business combination will provide, among others, the following financial and strategic benefits:

World’s Largest Global Cannabis Company. The combination of Aphria and Tilray brings together two highly complementary businesses to create the leading cannabis-focused CPG company with the largest global geographic footprint in the industry.

Strategic Footprint and Operational Scale. We believe that the Company has the strategic footprint and operational scale necessary to compete more effectively in today’s consolidating cannabis market with a strong, flexible balance sheet, strong cash balance, and access to capital, which we believe will give the Company the ability to accelerate growth and deliver long-term sustainable value for stockholders.

Low-cost, State-of-the-Art Production & the Leading Canadian Adult-Use Cannabis Producer. The demand for the Company’s products will be supported by low-cost state-of-the-art cultivation, processing, and manufacturing facilities, and it will have a complete portfolio of branded cannabis 2.0 products to strengthen its leadership position in Canada.

Positioned to Pursue an Accelerated International Growth Strategy. The Company is well-positioned to pursue international growth opportunities with its strong medical cannabis brands, distribution network in Germany, and end-to-end European Union Good Manufacturing Practices (“EU-GMP”) supply chain, which includes its production facilities in Portugal and Germany.

Enhanced Consumer Packaged Goods Presence and Infrastructure in the U.S. In the United States, Tilray has a strong consumer packaged goods presence and infrastructure with two strategic pillars, including SweetWater, a leading cannabis lifestyle branded craft brewer, and Manitoba Harvest, a pioneer in branded hemp, CBD and wellness products with access to 17,000 stores in North America. In the event of federal permissibility, the Company expects to be well-positioned to compete in the U.S. cannabis market given its existing strong brands and distribution system in addition to its track record of growth in consumer-packaged goods and cannabis products.

Substantial Synergies. The Company expects to deliver approximately US$81 million (C$100 million) of annual pre-tax cost synergies within eighteen months and plans to achieve cost synergies in the key areas of cultivation and production, cannabis and product purchasing, sales, and marketing, and corporate expenses.

Tilray’s new leadership team and board of directors will provide a strong foundation for the Company to accelerate growth and capitalize on the business combination’s many benefits.

Effective on closing, the senior management team and Board of Directors of the Company were reconstituted as follows:

  • Irwin D. Simon, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
  • Carl Merton, Chief Financial Officer
  • Denise Faltischek, Head of International and Chief Strategy Officer
  • Jim Meiers, President, Canada
  • Jared Simon, President, Manitoba Harvest and Tilray Wellness
  • Rita Seguin, Chief Human Resources Officer
  • Dara Redler, Interim Chief Legal Officer and Corporate Secretary
  • Berrin Noorata, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer
  • Lloyd Brathwaite, Chief Information Officer
  • Freddy Bensch, Chief Executive Officer, SweetWater

Board of Directors:

  • Irwin D. Simon, Chairman
  • Renah Persofsky, ICD.D, Vice-Chair (Lead Director) and Chair of the Nominating and Governance Committee, Independent Director
  • Jodi Butts, Nominating & Governance Committee Member, Independent Director
  • David Clanachan, Newly Appointed Independent Director
  • John M. Herhalt Chair of the Audit Committee, Independent Director
  • David Hopkinson, Nominating and Governance Committee & Compensation Committee Member, Independent Director
  • Brendan Kennedy, Current Director and Former CEO, Tilray
  • Tom Looney, Audit Committee & Compensation Committee Member, Independent Director
  • Walter Robb, Chair of the Compensation Committee & Audit Committee Member, Independent Director

New Tilray Branding

The new Tilray logo blends both Aphria and legacy Tilray’s branding into a design that reflects the new Company’s growing portfolio of brands across cannabis-lifestyle and wellness product categories, including medical, adult-use, hemp foods, and beverages. The continued use of “Tilray” as the Company’s name evokes hard work and hope – til shortened from tilling the soil and ray as in a ray of sunshine. Tilray is a pioneer navigating toward the end of prohibition and built to deliver on the collective wellbeing of the Company’s employees, consumers, patients, partners, and local communities.

Advisors

Jefferies LLC served as financial advisor, and DLA Piper LLP (US), DLA Piper (Canada) LLP, and Fasken Martineau Dumoulin LLP acted as legal counsel to Aphria. Cowen served as financial advisor, and Cooley LLP and Blake, Cassels, and Graydon LLP acted as legal counsel to Tilray.

About Tilray

Tilray Inc. is a leading global cannabis-lifestyle and consumer packaged goods company with operations in Canada, the United States, Europe, Australia, and Latin America that is changing people's lives for the better – one person at a time – by inspiring and empowering the worldwide community to live their very best life by providing them with products that meet the needs of their mind, body, and soul and invoke a sense of wellbeing. Tilray’s mission is to be the trusted partner for its patients and consumers by providing them with a cultivated experience and health and wellbeing through high-quality, differentiated brands and innovative products. A pioneer in cannabis research, cultivation, and distribution, Tilray’s unprecedented production platform supports over 20 brands in over 20 countries, including comprehensive cannabis offerings, hemp-based foods, and alcoholic beverages.

For more information on how we open a world of wellbeing, visit Tilray.com.