M&A

STATS-owner acquires Perform

Vista Equity Partners seals a deal to combine DAZN’s B2B data arm with Chicago-headquartered AI specialists

Perform will merge with Chicago-based sports data specialist STATS after private equity firm Vista Equity Partners tied up a deal for the DAZN Group sports content arm.

STATS’ rumoured acquisition of Perform was confirmed today and should close in the second half of 2019, although it remains subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals.

DAZN Group will receive a combination of cash and a significant minority stake in the newly-formed company which is still to be named.

Financial details of the acquisition have not been made public.

As part of the deal, STATS will gain access to Perform’s portfolio of brands and products, including Opta, RunningBall and Watch&Bet.

Perform story

STATS CEO Carl Mergele said the combination of STATS and Perform would create “the most advanced artificial intelligence company in sports”.

“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,” Mergele said.

The merged company will focus on using AI solutions to “accelerate innovation in sport” by generating machine learning predictions to improve team performance and player evaluation.

DAZN Group CEO Simon Denyer said the sale value will be reinvested into DAZN’s streaming services. He added: “It’s great to welcome a new era for all our content products, B2B partners, and Perform colleagues.

“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.”

The transaction was enabled by an investment from Vista Equity Partners, a venture capital investment firm which already owned STATS.

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