Rush Street Interactive CEO Schwartz Open to Takeover Talks

Posted on: May 12, 2023, 03:32h. 

Last updated on: May 12, 2023, 05:05h.

Amid a flurry of sports betting industry consolidation rumors, Rush Street Interactive (NYSE: RSI) is one of the most discussed potential targets.

Rush Street Interactive
A Rush Street Interactive advertisement. CEO Richard Schwartz says he’s open to takeover talks. (Image: Twitter)

A deal hasn’t materialized as of yet, but CEO Richard Schwartz signaled at an industry conference this week that he’ll keep an open mind should suitors come calling. He made those remarks at the SBC Summit North America at the Meadowlands Exposition Center in New Jersey, the same confab at which PointsBet USA CEO Johnny Aitken canceled his appearance, stoking speculation talks between that company and Fanatics are intensifying.

We have an obligation to shareholders to get the best return we can,” Schwartz said at the conference. “So we’re always open to evaluating opportunities. We build tremendous systems that if we had a larger scale, there’d be some benefits as well. We have to be open-minded. But at the end of the day, we have a very clear path.”

Takeover talk pertaining to Rush Street Interactive dates back to at least 2021 with ESPN previously rumored as a potential buyer.

Rush Street Interactive Affordable, Attractive Target

The sportsbook operator closed this week with a market capitalization of $651.99 million, making it approachable for any number of prospective buyers.

Additionally, the gaming company is nearing profitability, forecasting revenue of $700 million this year, and has $250 million in cash in the bank, implying its shares are inexpensive. The stock, which closed at $2.94 on Friday, is off 17.69% year to date and 46.17% over the past 12 months.

In March, Rush Street Interactive announced it ended its sports wagering partnership with the Connecticut Lottery Corporation (CLC) in an effort to part with a money-losing operation and enhance its plan to reach profitability. Some analysts and industry observers believe that move makes the company a more attractive target.

In the US, Chicago-based RSI operates under the BetRivers and PlaySugarHouse brands, and is currently available with mobile or retail businesses in Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia. The firm also offers sports wagering in Ontario, Canada. That portfolio of market access could add to a potential buyer’s interest in the company.

As for Schwartz, he believes RSI is “very valuable. We built it for ourselves. We built technology that works well and delivers the retention that you need.”

Rush Street Interactive Has International Allure, Too

RSI offers would be suitors something many of its rivals don’t: exposure to markets outside the US, including much more than Canada. The operator debuted in Colombia in 2018 and opened two offices there last year. In 2022, RSI entered Mexico through an agreement with media conglomerate Grupo Multimedios.

Schwartz noted at the conference that Mexico has a population of 130 million, far larger than any US state, and that RSI enjoys first-mover advantage and less competition there.

Argentina and Peru, the latter of which approved iGaming and sports betting last year, are among the Latin American markets RSI could enter next. After Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, and Colombia are the region’s next largest economies, indicating RSI’s Latin America exposure could be compelling to buyers.