Playmaker enters affiliate sector with $31m acquisition of US-facing Wedge Traffic

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Sports media company Playmaker Capital has acquired 100% of US-facing sports betting and iGaming affiliate business Wedge Traffic in a deal worth up to $31.2m.

Glasgow-based Wedge has a core focus on the US market and is currently active in 16 states, in addition to the Canadian province of Ontario.

The business owns and operates eight web properties which are curated to deliver audiences directly to regulated online sportsbook and iGaming operators in North America, where it currently holds affiliate marketing relationships with 15 online sportsbooks and casinos.

Playmaker said it will also leverage Wedge’s expertise for newly regulating markets across Latam.

The purchase price for the acquisition consists of a cash payment on closing of $8.5m, in addition to the issuance of some 3.7 million Playmaker common shares, priced at C$0.75 per share.

Further contingent consideration of approximately $20.7m will be paid based on the business’ financial performance throughout 2023 and 2024, through a combination of cash and Playmaker common shares.

As part of the deal, Wedge Traffic founders Dan Kersh and David Copeland will join Playmaker’s senior leadership team, providing it with new expertise in iGaming affiliation.

Playmaker CEO Jordan Gnat: “We have been very clear that creating a centre of excellence in affiliate was key to rounding out our offering as a leading sports media business.”

In 2021, Wedge generated revenue of $2.9m and EBITDA of $1.7m. In the twelve months ended 30 June 2022, the business brought in $5.5m in revenue and EBITDA of $3.1m.

“We have been very clear that creating a centre of excellence in affiliate was key to rounding out our offering as a leading sports media business,” said Jordan Gnat, CEO of Playmaker. 

“We look to super-serve all of our partners, and Wedge allows us to better serve critical customer segments, sports betting and iGaming operators. 

“The team at Wedge is superb and we could not be happier having them join our family. Dan, David, Ryan and their team have worked together for years and they have quickly built relationships within Playmaker over the past few months. This gives us great confidence that we can win together, leveraging the assets and expertise already present in our Playmaker ecosystem.”

Wedge Traffic CEO Kersh added: “Outside of the fact that Playmaker’s diverse portfolio of brands will directly complement our business, there were two key reasons for making the decision to join the Playmaker family. 

“Firstly, they understand how to support and accelerate data driven marketing within the iGaming sector. Secondly, and perhaps of even greater importance, they appreciate the value of creating a winning culture and how it must be considered the heartbeat of any successful business.”

This latest acquisition follows Playmaker’s strategy of acquiring profitable businesses that offer a new core competency to its ecosystem, the firm said.

It is the company’s 15th acquisition since April 2021 and will immediately position Playmaker to pursue other growth opportunities across the entire organisation, it added.

The sale process was managed by boutique investment and M&A brokerage RB Capital.

About the author

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Conor Mulheir

Conor entered the gaming industry in 2018 producing high-level live event content for audiences in London, Amsterdam and São Paulo. From 2020, he went on to report news and commission exclusive content for various gaming media brands before joining iGaming NEXT as editor in January 2022.

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