July 9, 2018 / 10:10 PM / 8 days ago

UPDATE 1-CPPIB, TCV buy stake in Swiss sports data group Sportradar

(Adds details on returns for EQT, paragraph 3)

FRANKFURT, July 9 (Reuters) - Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) and Silicon Valley-based investor TCV are buying a stake in Sportradar, valuing the Swiss sports data group at 2.1 billion euros ($2.5 billion), including debt, the companies said on Monday.

Founder and Chief Executive Carsten Koerl will retain his majority stake in Sportradar, while CPPIB and TCV are buying a 37 percent stake from buyout group EQT as well additional shares from other minority investors.

EQT made more than four times its money on the investment, according to one person familiar with the transaction. It will use some proceeds to reinvest in a very small Sportradar stake. Sportradar will not receive any new funding.

"Sportradar is strongly cash-generative, does not need new money. But the new partners have said that they will finance potential add-on acquisitions," Sportradar manager Ulrich Harmuth told Reuters.

He added that the technology focus and the strong North American focus of CPPIB and TCV were expected to be a benefit for planned expansion in the United States.

Sportradar supplies data on live sports events and counts sports media and betting companies among its clients. One of its businesses is focused on integrity - helping sporting bodies to fight against match-fixing and corruption.

CPPIB and TCV won out in the auction against buyout groups KKR and Blackstone, which had also made it to the final round after Sportradar initially attracted a large number of expressions of interest, people close to the matter said.

In 2018, it is expected to post earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of more than 150 million euros, before costs for sports rights.

Since EQT's investment in 2012, the firm has acquired peers GSS, BTD and Sportsman among others, and expanded its U.S. business via partnerships with the National Football League, the National Basketball Association, the National Hockey League and stock car racing's NASCAR.

Sportradar employs 1,900 staff in 24 countries, and tracks 400,000 annual events in 40 sports. Its customers include media organisations such as the Associated Press, Kicker, NBC Sports, Google and Facebook as well as betting companies such as William Hill, Paddy Power and Ladbrokes.

Koerl and others founded Sportradar in 2007, based on a company called Market Monitor, in which Koerl had invested and which was originally set up by two Norwegian computer scientists as part of a student programming project. ($1 = 0.8506 euro) (Reporting by Arno Schuetze; Additional reporting by Joshua Franklin in New York; Editing by Keith Weir and Peter Cooney)

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