Michael Rubin arrives at the Fanatics Super Bowl 2019 party on Saturday, February 2, 2019, in Atlanta.
Paul R. Giunta | Vision | PA
Fanatics, the sports merchandising company, is in talks to acquire sports betting company Tipico, according to two people familiar with the matter.
A deal has yet to be reached and the two sides are currently at an impasse over the price, although talks are ongoing, said the people, who asked not to be named as the talks are private.
Tipico has a small sports betting business in the United States, with licenses in New Jersey and Colorado, but is the main sports betting provider in Germany, according to its website.
Michael Rubin, billionaire executive chairman of Fanatics, announced on Wednesday that he was selling his 10% stake in Harris Blitzer Sports Entertainment, which owns the Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils, paving the way for the Fanatics to enter the arena of game. National Basketball Association rules prohibit team owners from operating a gaming platform.
Fanatics has made several acquisitions over the past few years as a private company. In 2020, it acquired sporting goods maker WinCraft, and earlier this year it bought trading card company Topps for $500 million. Fanatics has a private valuation of $27 billion.
“As our Fanatics business has grown, the hurdles I must overcome to ensure our new ventures do not conflict with my responsibilities as co-owner of the Sixers have also grown,” Rubin said. said in a statement posted on Twitter Wednesday announcing the sale of his stake in the 76ers. “With the launch of our Trading Cards and Collectibles business earlier this year – which will have individual contracts with thousands of athletes worldwide – and a soon-to-be-launched sports betting operation, this news businesses will directly conflict with sports league ownership rules. Given these realities, I will unfortunately sell my stake in the Sixers and go from co-ownership to lifelong fan.”
Rubin had no hesitation in wanting to enter the sports betting industry.
“We can be number 1 in the world in this area in 10 years,” Rubin told the Sports Business Journal earlier this year. “It sounds ambitious for someone not in the business today, but our strategic advantages are that we are one of the best-known digital sports brands and reach so many fans.”
Fanatics is a CNBC Disruptor 50 company, ranking 21st on this year’s list.
This story is developing. Please check for updates.
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