Paddy Power and Betfair owner Flutter Entertainment has agreed a deal to buy Canadian rival The Stars Group to create the world’s largest online betting firm with combined annual revenues of £3.8bn.
Flutter - previously called Paddy Power Betfair - said the merged group will be headquartered in Dublin and listed on the London Stock Exchange as well as on Euronext Dublin.
The combined group will have a stock market value of around £9.3bn. Flutter shareholders will own 54.6 per cent of the merged firm.
The Stars Group took over Sky Betting & Gaming, which has its head office in Leeds, last year for £3.4bn.
Sky Bet has more than 1,300 staff based in the city and is continuing to grow headcount.
Flutter chairman Gary McGann will become chairman of the combined group while Flutter chief executive Peter Jackson will head up the firm in the same role.
Rafi Ashkenazi, chief executive of The Stars Group (TSG), will become chief operating officer of the combined group.
If the deal is approved by shareholders of the two firms, it is expected to complete in the second or third quarter of next year.
Following the transaction, Flutter said it will have customers in more than 100 international markets.
Mr Jackson said the deal will “turbocharge” Flutter’s growth strategy.
Mr McGann added: “This is an exciting and transformational combination that will bring together two strong, complementary businesses to create a global leader in the fast-growing online sports betting and gaming industry.”
Mr Ashkenazi said the deal will “position us strongly for the future in this rapidly evolving industry”.
It comes amid a period of unprecedented change in the global betting industry, which has seen a raft of deals in recent years amid the rise in online gaming and regulation crackdowns.
James Wheatcroft, an analyst at Jefferies, said it was a “compelling” deal.