Industry reaction to Flutter’s NYSE debut and accelerating primary listing ambitions
FanDuel parent company makes intentions clear to take US by storm as EGR gauges the mood of industry experts on the online giant’s strategy
So, there we have it. Flutter Entertainment has headed off into the US sunset, and after teasing us with a secondary listing to confirming a primary listing stateside will materialise before the end of year, it leaves London looking forlorn.
The City, which took the crown as the top global financial centre ahead of New York this month according to a report from, ahem, the City of London, will be disappointed to see Flutter reduce its London presence.
The London Stock Exchange has lost travel firm TUI to Frankfurt in recent months, while logistics company Wincanton decided to head back into private hands after management blamed low liquidity in the UK.
The gambling heavyweight, with its £29bn market cap, has long championed the benefits of listing in the US, and with CEO Peter Jackson ringing the bell at the New York Stock Exchange on Monday, flanked by NFL legend Rob Gronkowski, it felt like a new era.
FanDuel, Flutter’s US crown jewel, accounted for £3.6bn of the group’s £9.5bn revenue for 2023, with that figure set to grow further.
In fact, as detailed in the group’s US listing presentation, it noted an expected TAM in the US by 2030 of $40bn.
The operator is always expecting to increase its sportsbook population coverage from 45% as it stands to 80%, with igaming population coverage leaping from 11% to 25%.
These aspirations will now be augmented by the deepest capital pool in the world, and with the appetite of institutional and retail investors in the US for sports betting continue to grow, Flutter’s switch could prove to put it in another stratosphere.
EGR spoke to several industry experts as Flutter heads to its US-focused future.
Chris Grove, co-founder of Acies Investments, said the writing was on the wall for a US listing
“Gone are the days when Flutter’s centre of gravity was squarely located in European markets. With the shift of that centre to the Americas, it makes all the sense in the world to move the listing as well.
“The question we’ll see answered in the weeks and months ahead is whether US investors continue to prefer the clarity and simplicity of the DraftKings story or whether they’re comfortable digesting the multiple markets and multiverse of brands that combine to form Flutter.
“In almost any world, this is a win for Flutter – and it may be a critical decision that fuels the company to a far stronger position in the US market. The only question is whether they’d be better off spinning out FanDuel for a US listing as opposed to bringing the whole company over the ocean.”
Matt Davey, founder and chairman of Tekkorp Capital, said heading to the NYSE ticked the boxes for Flutter
“Flutter’s secondary listing on the NYSE looks like a very sensible move to capture value in both multiple arbitrage and liquidity. By allowing investors to compare Flutter directly with other listed peers, such as DraftKings, management hopes to shine a light on the relative earnings multiple and allow the market to weigh both accordingly. While sophisticated institutional investors have the ability to invest across international borders and market exchanges, we have found some are restricted to domestic mandates and others just prefer to invest where there is an operational and geographic nexus. Flutter ticks both boxes with the NYSE listing.
“Moreover, we have no doubt that retail US investors will be attracted to the opportunity to invest in the owner of FanDuel and, thus, provide additional demand and consequent liquidity to the stock. Further, as the team at Jefferies have pointed out, a potential inclusion in the S&P 500 could drive incremental demand for the stock, driving up liquidity.
“Overall, while dual listings have not been a panacea for every company that has chosen this path, we believe this is a very sensible approach from Flutter and will likely deliver on their goals.”
Stuart Simms, FairPlay Sports Media CEO, talked up the quality of investors in the US
“It’s an interesting move, but one that isn’t wholly surprising. The US is such a growth market and still relatively immature. Therefore, gaining access to a financial market that appreciates the unique opportunities and dynamics of the North American market is smart.
“FairPlay has realised similar benefits and understanding through working with Bruin, who understood the importance of Quarter4 and its contribution to our North America aspirations.
“Flutter’s decision, similar to ours, means that access to a AI/technology literate and savvy investor base will improve their access to capital but more importantly an investor base whose aspirations are aligned… potentially giving them breathing space in a market with many twists and turns.”
Neil Shah, director of research at Edison Group, bemoaned the plight of the City
“Another day, another body blow to London with Flutter confirming that it will shift its primary listing location from London to New York. That Flutter has upgraded its love affair with the US markets to fully-fledged relationship is no surprise given that its US operations are a significant part of its business and the soon-to-be primary source of its profits.
“Yet London’s role as jilted partner continues, with yet another company leaving its embrace on the promise of higher valuations and deeper pools of capital in the US. Certainly, the easing of sports betting regulation in the US, coinciding with heavier regulation in the UK, is a major factor in the scramble for US market share.
“However, the fact that a top 20 company has chosen to depart the City, with Flutter’s secondary listing status excluding it from FTSE 100 inclusion, follows a very worrying and very public trend of listed companies losing trust in the City, which must prompt the government to turbo-charge its listing reforms.”
Joel Simkins, MD at Houlihan Lokey’s technology arm, took to LinkedIn to suggest more US listings are on the horizon
“The US is the premier capital markets venue to achieve the maximum valuation for your business. While Flutter is a mega-cap within gaming and has some incredibly successful businesses, [the] news signals that there is still considerable interest to invest in digital gaming businesses coming off a lull in valuations during the Covid bubble.
“Capital markets receptivity for digital gaming businesses that are driving innovation and demonstrable industry change will accelerate in 2024 and 2025; this is the canary signifying that more IPOs and other listings could be coming.”
The Guardian’s financial editor, Nils Pratley, was damning in his opinion piece this week
“Flutter – a top-20 stock with a market value of £28bn – is a bad one for London to lose. While US shareholders dominate at Flutter, the UK-based percentage is still 21.4%, which is not nothing in the context of a special resolution that requires a 75% majority.
“How should the UK crew respond to Flutter’s intended flight? One hopes they vote against. It would at least send a message to other wannabe escapees in UK boardrooms that exiting to the US is not as easy as flicking a switch.
“For those funds that are allowed to own stocks only within UK or European indices, this ought to be a no-brainer. They will become forced sellers of a company with good long-term growth prospects and won’t receive a takeover premium by way of compensation.
“From where they sit, that proposal should have zero appeal. It is a moment to be irritating in a (probably) doomed cause.”