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Sportradar valued at nearly $8 billion in U.S. market debut

NEW YORK, Sept 14 (Reuters) - Switzerland-based sports data provider Sportradar Group AG’s shares opened flat in their market debut on Tuesday, valuing the company at nearly $8 billion.

The sports-betting and data firm took the IPO route to go public after abandoning plans for a merger with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) earlier this year.

“We have been agreeing on a dual-track for a SPAC and an IPO, and that was from the very beginning,” founder and Chief Executive Officer Carsten Koerl said in an interview.

“During the SPAC process, which we evaluated, we found out that Eldridge and Todd Boehly is an excellent partner.”

Sportradar said entities affiliated with Eldridge and Radcliff Management LLC, as well as some other investors, would buy $159 million of its Class A ordinary shares at the IPO price.

The company sold shares at $27 per Class A ordinary share in the offering to raise net proceeds of $672 million, which it could use to drive growth and acquire or invest in companies.

Its IPO comes as the U.S. capital market rekindles after a summer hiatus. A bull run earlier in the year had seen cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase Global, South Korea’s Amazon equivalent Coupang and several other richly valued startups debut to strong investor reception.

20-year-old Sportradar provides software, data and content through subscription and revenue share arrangements to sports leagues, betting operators and media firms.

It serves more than 1,600 customers across 120 countries, including DraftKings, Twitter and ESPN, and is an official partner of the National Basketball Association, the National Hockey League and the NASCAR.

Backed by the likes of Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, basketball legend Michael Jordan and billionaire Mark Cuban, the company posted a more than 6% jump in revenue last year to 404.9 million euros ($479.56 million).

Its adjusted profit before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization — a metric that excludes one-time costs — rose to 76.9 million euros from 63.2 million euros in the period.

“The focus is at the moment crystal clear on the United States. It’s the biggest growing market in the world for sports betting,” CEO Koerl said.

Sportradar listed on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol “SRAD”. J.P. Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup and UBS Investment Bank acted as lead book-running managers. (Reporting by Echo Wang in New York and Sohini Podder in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni)

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