CHICAGO & LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--STATS LLC (“STATS”), the revolutionary leader in sports AI, announced today its combination with Perform, the complete global sports content company. The transaction was enabled by an investment from Vista Equity Partners (“Vista”), a leading investment firm focused on enterprise software, data, and technology-enabled businesses. DAZN Group, Perform’s owner, will receive a combination of cash and a significant minority stake in the newly formed company.
Together US-based STATS and European-based Perform will combine STATS’ world-class expertise in artificial intelligence with both companies’ rich historical archives, creating a treasure trove of sports data primed to be unlocked by AI. Pairing the deepest, most granular data with leading AI solutions will accelerate innovation by generating machine learning predictions to improve team performance and player evaluation, automating natural language insights to enrich storytelling for broadcasters and sports technology, and forming new data to provide sportsbooks with boundless player props and precise projections of sports outcomes. These innovations will be the foundation of the future strategy of the new entity, extending across all of STATS and Perform, including Opta, RunningBall and Watch&Bet, allowing rights-holders, leagues, media, and gaming partners to derive the most value and develop the richest experiences for billions of fans.
“Bringing Perform into the fold will create the most advanced artificial intelligence company in sports, providing deeper, more robust data and insights, which is essential to our global partners,” said STATS CEO Carl Mergele. “Not only will we be able to improve our offerings to existing customers, we now have the opportunity to expand our presence in global markets where Perform has paved inroads for years as a leader in digital sports content.”
“It’s great to welcome a new era for all our content products, B2B partners, and Perform colleagues,” said DAZN Group CEO Simon Denyer. “Over 12 years we created a leading global portfolio of content and clients, but the combination of STATS and Perform takes the service to a new level of potential for everyone. While we will continue as an active minority shareholder in the new business, this deal also allows the group to focus on DAZN, into which we will invest all net proceeds from the deal.”
Len Blavatnik, Chairman of Access Industries, DAZN Group’s majority shareholder, said, “The combination of STATS and Perform creates a powerful opportunity as the experience of sports for consumers continues to evolve. We look forward to working with the new business and with Vista, as we remain focused on fully maximizing DAZN’s potential.”
“STATS and Perform are two exceptional, highly complementary companies with extensive backgrounds as industry innovators that will deliver superior products to customers as one combined entity,” said Robert F. Smith, Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Vista Equity Partners. “We are pleased to welcome the Perform team into the Vista family and look forward to the groundbreaking technological advances in sports that will result from this unique and exciting combination.”
The transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2019 and is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals.
PJT Partners LP acted as exclusive financial advisor to DAZN and Perform. Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP and Debevoise & Plimpton acted as legal advisors to DAZN and Perform. Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC acted as exclusive financial advisor to Vista and STATS. Kirkland & Ellis acted as legal advisor to Vista and STATS.
STATS collects the richest sports data in the world and transforms it through revolutionary AI to unlock the past, present and future of everything sport. The pioneer of live sports data, STATS continues to speed innovation in the industry with AutoSTATS, the first-ever AI-powered technology to collect comprehensive sports data from any television broadcast. The world’s most innovative brands, technology companies, media, fantasy, gaming, teams and leagues trust STATS to provide world-class artificial intelligence solutions to engage billions of fans. STATS combines the industry’s fastest and most accurate data platform with video analysis, sports content and research, player tracking, and the latest in AI and machine learning to provide unparalleled media and team performance solutions. For more information, go to www.stats.com and follow STATS on Twitter @STATS_Insights.
Perform is the complete sports content company. With over 1,500 employees in 30+ global territories, Perform works with the biggest media owners, rights-holders, bookmakers and professional teams to produce and distribute content that transforms the way the world experiences sport. Perform is made up of industry-critical brands: we create, collect and distribute cutting-edge sports data via Opta, performance data and tools to drive on-pitch success through OptaPro, sports news and content through Omnisport, and high-quality betting content through RunningBall and Watch&Bet, all of which are underpinned by our globally-trusted integrity operation. By harnessing our passion for sport, we create better digital experiences that deliver greater value for our partners, clients and their fans.
About DAZN Group
DAZN Group is the digital leader in global sports media and one of the fastest growing sports media companies in the world. Headquartered in the UK and with almost 3,000 employees in over 30 countries, our businesses touch every aspect of the way fans engage with sports. DAZN Group is home to DAZN, the world’s first pure-sport live and on-demand streaming service, as well as some of the world’s most popular sports websites and mobile apps, including Goal.com, Sporting News, and Spox.com. DAZN is backed by Sir Leonard Blavatnik’s Access Industries, a privately held group with strategic investments in the United States, Europe and South America. Its holdings include a number of market-leading companies in the natural resources and chemicals, media and telecommunications, venture capital and real estate sectors.
About Vista Equity Partners
Vista Equity Partners is a U.S.-based investment firm with offices in Austin, Chicago, New York City, Oakland, and San Francisco with more than $46 billion in cumulative capital commitments. Vista exclusively invests in software, data, and technology-enabled organizations led by world-class management teams. As a value-added investor with a long-term perspective, Vista contributes professional expertise and multi-level support towards companies to realize their full potential. Vista’s investment approach is anchored by a sizable long-term capital base, experience in structuring technology-oriented transactions, and proven management techniques that yield flexibility and opportunity. For more information, please visit www.vistaequitypartners.com.