Research Note - Playmaker Capital Inc. (PMKR:TSXV,$0.38|BUY $1.25 TARGET) Executing on M&A Strategy
This morning, Playmaker Capital announced that it has acquired World Soccer Talk for US$1.15M. World Soccer Talk is a U.S. based, soccer-focused media business that provides news, deep analysis and streaming information for soccer events, leagues and clubs.
World Soccer Talk’s audience spans over its website, mobile app, social media channels, and podcasts. The target company offers team schedules, prediction tools, brackets, and broadcasting/streaming information. The rationale behind the acquisition was to continue expanding PMKR’s North American audience and proportion of revenue (60% as of Q1/22). World Soccer will also add to PMKR’s Latin America audience. Management highlighted that soccer has surpassed hockey as the fourth most popular sport in the U.S. and that it expects soccer viewership to continue rising in North America, outpacing the growth of other major sports. The acquisition also positions PMKR to capitalize on the upcoming World Cups in 2022, 2023 (women’s) and 2026.
World Soccer Talk is also a popular and trusted source for “where-to-watch” content, being an affiliate partner to various sports streaming services. This aligns with Playmaker’s new strategy of increasing affiliate revenue - delivering users to sponsors/advertisers and receiving a fee based on users that convert to paying customers. This diversifies PMKR’s revenue streams away from programmatic advertising and enhance the sports fan’s experience using exclusive and relevant promotions with leading brands/OSB operators.
Playmaker plans to extend its platform’s resources and expertise to World Soccer Talk ahead of the World Cup in Q4/22 including technical solutions, product design, operational support, and editorial support in order to increase viewership and monetization.
Total consideration for the acquisition is US$1.15M, consisting of cash upon closing of US$350K, 510K PMKR shares at C$0.75/share (C$383K) and up to US$500K in earnouts based on revenue and performance targets in the first and second years following closing. The acquisition was in line with PMKR’s previous acquisition multiples.
Our Thoughts: We continue to be impressed by PMKR’s rapid execution on its M&A strategy (seven acquisitions since November), effectively positioning itself to take advantage of sports betting regulatory changes in its markets (Canada, Brazil, Argentina) and the FIFA World Cup in Q4. PMKR now trades at a sizeable discount to slow-growth traditional media companies (NWSA:US, NXST:US, NYT:US) that trade at 8.6x EBITDA on average, despite growing 10x faster than the group; creating a compelling value opportunity. We are maintaining our BUY rating and C$1.25/share target price based on 6.0x 2023E sales (equivalent to 18.0x 2023E EBITDA).