Fox says arbitrator affirms its option to acquire stake in FanDuel By Reuters

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(Reuters) -Fox Corp said an arbitrator on Friday reaffirmed its right to acquire a nearly one-fifth stake in FanDuel, settling a longstanding dispute with the betting app’s owner, Flutter Entertainment Plc.

The New York-based Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Services also settled a dispute over the price to exercise that option. Fox has a 10-year option to acquire an 18.6% stake of FanDuel for $3.7 billion. The price would rise to over $4 billion when factoring in a 5% escalator, according to Flutter.

In April 2021, Fox filed its lawsuit against the Irish gaming company, seeking to secure its option to buy an stake in the market-leading FanDuel app. The two companies disagreed over price.

Fox sought a strike price to exercise its options based on the $11.2 billion valuation set in December 2020 when Flutter acquired a 37% stake in FanDuel Group from one of its early private equity investor.

Flutter was seeking a higher valuation

Both sides agreed to resolve the matter in arbitration. The arbitrator Friday settled on an option price based on a $20 billion valuation for FanDuel.

Fox issued a statement applauding the ruling, saying it gives the media company the option to acquire a “very meaningful equity stake in the market leading U.S. online sports betting operation.”

Flutter has not issued a statement.