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Dave Portnoy announces major news about Barstool Sports

Dave Portnoy on the phone

Barstool Sports founder David Portnoy walks towards the pagoda before the start of Carb Day practice, Friday, May 28, 2021, at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Photo Credit: Grace Hollars/IndyStar via Imagn Content Services, LLC

Dave Portnoy on Tuesday announced some major news surrounding Barstool Sports.

Portnoy, the founder of Barstool Sports, publicly revealed that he has bought back his company from Penn Entertainment (formerly Penn National Gaming). Portnoy announced the news in one of his humorous “emergency press conferences.”

“Penn Entertainment and Barstool Sports have gone our separate ways. … For the first time in a decade, I own 100 percent of Barstool Sports,” Portnoy said.

Portnoy said the partnership with PENN did not go quite as well as hoped because Barstool Sports and Portnoy proved to be somewhat problematic for regulators in the gambling industry.

“The regulated industry, probably [is] not the best place for Barstool Sports and the type of content we make,” Portnoy acknowledged.

Portnoy revealed that he still owns PENN stock. He also said he won’t be selling the company again.

“I am never going to sell Barstool Sports ever. I will hold it til I die. … We will pass it down,” said Portnoy.

Portnoy founded Barstool Sports in 2003 as a printed newspaper. He took the operation online in 2007.

Until 2016, Barstool Sports was privately owned by Portnoy. But he sold a majority stake in the company to The Cherning Group in January 2016. Four years later, Chernin sold 36 percent of Barstool to PENN, a publicly-traded gambling/casino company, at a valuation of $450 million.

Penn had the option in January 2023 to increase their ownership stake to 50 percent or to purchase the entire company. They chose to purchase Barstool in full, spending $388 million to buy the outstanding equity of the company at a $606 million valuation.

Now, several months later, Portnoy has bought the company back.

The changing ownership of Barstool Sports comes because of another move made by PENN.

PENN has reached a deal with ESPN to rebrand their sports betting app and sportsbooks as ESPN BET. PENN divested ownership of Barstool Sports as part of the rebrand.


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