adds Gregg Michaelson to its Board along with raising $15.5m growth funding from Edison Partners

– IRELAND, Dublin – Group Plc, today announced a $15.5-million investment from private equity fund Edison Partners.

The Edison investment will be utilized for general corporate purposes “with a view to accelerating certain investments in the United States market,” according to a news release.

Partner Gregg Michaelson will join the board of directors.

Edison, which manages $1.4 billion in assets, is based in New Jersey at the center of the rapidly expanding legal online sports betting market in the United States. In allying with Group, the company forms a partnership with one of the fastest-growing and most widely recognized performance marketers focused on that industry.

While’s primary focus has been European markets, a shift toward the American sector began even before the Supreme Court repeal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act in May 2018. That landmark legal decision, however, has empowered new growth opportunities in the United States and already has established business partnerships with gambling operators in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

“We have been thoroughly impressed by Edison Partners’ depth of expertise, breadth of knowledge and professional network. We greatly look forward to bringing on Edison as our teammate in our new American journey,” Charles Gillespie, Chief Executive of Group, said. “Edison are the right partner at the right time, and I expect our collaboration to deliver powerful results.

“Their investment in the Group validates our thesis that we are the affiliate organization best positioned to benefit from the expansion of regulated online gambling in the United States.”

Rapidly Growing U.S. Market

Sports betting is legal and underway in 13 states as the most coveted and lucrative wagering market opens in the United States with the commencement of regular-season NFL play.

“We are thrilled to enter the online gaming market with our investment in Group,” said Chris Sugden, Managing Partner at Edison Partners. “The company will continue to monetize the large market opportunity in Europe while increasing investment in the U.S. Online gaming is expanding significantly as regulations are modified on a state-by-state basis.”

As part of the process, continues to expand its editorial footprint with management hires, a new office in Charlotte, North Carolina, and becoming the first sports betting media group accepted as members of the Associated Press Sports Editors. Company executives plan to build into “the pre-eminent source of sports betting information in the United States.”

“Attention to sports gambling in the U.S. is booming, and we are building out a robust content team, offering products to match that interest,” Group Director of North American Content Gerry Ahern said. “On we are providing a real-time lens for sports fans that educates, entertains and informs them as they explore legal wagering options. On we are keeping the audience up to date with industry news and the latest in legislation as more states come online and more fans are served.”

The investment will be satisfied through a combination of new ordinary shares in Group and a sale of existing ordinary shares by an existing shareholder. The investment will sit in Edison Partners’ latest fund closed in December 2018, its ninth fund with a size of $365 million.

“With an exceptionally strong brand, robust content creation strategy, player-focused editorial point of view and proven marketing capabilities, is well-positioned to become the leading provider of new customers to U.S.-based online sportsbook and iGaming operators,” Michaelson said. “ Group founder and CEO Charles Gillespie is an industry-leading business operator who brings the same ethical and compliant approach to the U.S. gaming market as he has in Europe.”

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