Sports betting media group Better Collective announced the acquisition of HLTV ApS. This will give Better Collective access to HLTV and Dusk2.dk, two of the most popular platforms for Counter Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO).
Better Collective eyes HLTV’s CS:GO legacy
HLTV was founded in 2002 in Denmark. The platform has since grown to be the leading CS:GO site in the world. CS:GO enthusiasts visit the site 26.5 million times each month to get the latest news, match info, and team rankings. It also serves as the brand behind the official CS:GO World Ranking and CS:GO Player of the Year Award.
Dusk2.dk was founded in 2016 and has become one of the leading CS:GO communities in Denmark. Visited over 250,000 times a month, the site provides news, interviews and live scores on CS:GO matches.
Martin Rosenbæk, CEO of HLTV ApS commented:
Joining the Better Collective group will support our ambition to remain the preferred CS:GO brand for esports enthusiasts across the world. Esports is an industry that is rapidly growing and evolving and, through constructive discussions with the Better Collective management, it became clear that they are the optimal partner for us to realize the full potential of our platforms.
Combining this with the experience we have gathered from developing within the CS:GO community, we are strongly positioned to grow and build even stronger brands and experiences that will benefit the global network of CS:GO fans and our business.
The art of the deal
Better Collective has agreed to pay EUR€34.5 million ($38.4 million USD) on a cash and debt-free basis for the popular CS:GO platforms. They will pay €26.4 million ($29.4 million) upfront, including €23.7 million ($26.38 million) in cash, and €2.7 million ($3.0 million) in Better Collective shares.
Better Collective will pay the remaining €8.1 million ($9.02 million) in three earn-out payments over the next three years. However, these payments are subject to HLTV ApS reaching certain performance criteria. Better Collective can also choose to pay up to half of the earn-out payments in shares. The founders of HLTV ApS will stay on and continue managing the company for at least 3 years.
Jesper Søgaard, CEO of Better Collective also commented:
We have carefully analyzed and monitored esport for a long time. It is a rapidly growing industry and we consider esports an ideal extension to our sports-focused business. The nature of esports betting differs significantly from traditional sports betting and, therefore, it was essential to find the right partner, adding deep know-how and industry knowledge to Better Collective.
The main business model of both platforms is to promote esports betting companies. Between July 2018 and June 2019, the platforms generated approximately €5 million ($5.57 million) in revenue. As a result, this move makes a lot of sense for Better Collective. Given the longevity of CS:GO esports, it looks like CS:GO betting will continue to be very popular for the foreseeable future.