Sports data provider Sportradar is exploring plans to go public, according to two people familiar with the matter. The shift to being publicly traded will probably happen through a blank-check company, a transaction where an already publicly traded company buys a private company as an alternative to the lengthy IPO process.
Sportradar provides in-depth sports data to media companies, bookmakers, sports federations and government authorities. Founded in 2000, the Switzerland-based company has attracted a slate of high-profile private investors, including Mark Cuban, Michael Jordan and Ted Leonsis.
It has also gathered up a series of influential business partnerships. Among them, Sportradar transmits NBA data and audio-visual feeds to gaming operators outside the U.S., distributes comprehensive NFL statistics to the media and legal sports betting operations inside and outside the U.S. and owns the rights to distribute real-time MLB game data feeds outside the U.S., as well as other rights for domestic U.S. baseball data.
The timeframe that Sportradar will become traded on a stock exchange isn’t immediately known. It can, however, happen quickly. Blank-check companies, also known as special purpose acquisition companies or SPACs, have been the favored method of late for fast-growing companies to go public. Usually a SPAC has held its IPO and gone public with the intent to acquire an unnamed company within a set amount of time. Some of 2020’s hottest stocks have been created with SPACs, including DraftKings, which went public in April. Through mid-June, 32 SPACs have gone public, meaning Sportradar’s partner may already be trading.
Sportradar CEO Carsten Koerl declined to comment.