Online live-TV streaming platform fuboTV and FaceBank Group, a sports-themed virtual entertainment company, March 23 announced a definitive merger agreement. Financials details of the agreement were not disclosed. The boards of directors of both companies and the major stockholders of fuboTV have approved the transaction, which is anticipated to close during the first quarter of 2020, subject to the satisfaction of certain closing conditions.
Following the closing, fuboTV will become a subsidiary of FaceBank, and FaceBank will be renamed fuboTV Inc. The combined company is expected to be headquartered in New York and led by fuboTV CEO David Gandler. Additional announcements regarding the combined company’s management structure and the board of directors will be forthcoming.
The merger would combine fuboTV’s live TV streaming platform with FaceBank’s technology-driven IP in sports, movies and live performances. This combination will create a content delivery platform for traditional and future-form IP.
“As a tech-driven IP company, FaceBank was looking to find the perfect delivery platform for its celebrity and consumer driven content,” founders John Textor and Alex Bafer said in a statement.
fuboTV said it plans to leverage FaceBank’s IP sharing relationships with celebrities and other digital technologies to enhance its sports and entertainment offerings.
The companies also believe the merger will position fuboTV to continue its global expansion with FaceBank’s Nexway AG, an ecommerce and payment platform with a business presence in 180 countries, accepting payments in roughly 140 currencies. fuboTV was the first virtual MVPD to commit to global expansion and in 2018 entered Europe with its launch in Spain.
“The business combination of FaceBank Group and fuboTV accelerates our ability to build a category-defining company and supports our goal to provide consumers with a technology-driven cable TV replacement service for the whole family,” Gandler said in a statement.
Gandler said that in the current COVID-19 environment, stay-at-home stocks make perfect sense.
“We plan to accelerate our timing to up-list to a major exchange as soon as practicable,” Gandler said.
Since its founding in 2015 as a soccer streaming service, fuboTV has evolved into a live TV streaming platform with sports, news and entertainment channels.